The Ministry of Interior has cancelled the no-objection certificate (NOC) of ARY Communications Private Ltd, citing ‘adverse reports’ from agencies as the reason behind the decision, it emerged on Friday.
The notification issued by the ministry, dated August 11, to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) reads, “The NOC issued in favour of M/S ARY Communications Private (Ltd). is cancelled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies.”
Reporting on the development, ARY News’ English website called the cancellation by the coalition government led by PML-N; an economic murder of more than 4,000 media workers associated with the news channel.
The report also called it a new move against the journalist fraternity, saying this was done without any notice. The channel’s administration condemned the suspension of its transmissions, saying the network is being victimised by the federal government; it added.
The decision from the Interior Ministry comes two days after the Sindh High Court directed PEMRA and cable operators to immediately restore the transmission of ARY News, which had been suspended on orders of the government.
ARY News got embroiled in a controversy after PTI leader Shahbaz Gill uttered ‘seditious remarks’ against the Pakistan Army while talking to the TV channel earlier this
week. Later, on Tuesday, he was taken into custody at Banigala Chowk in the capital.
Separately, Lahore High Court on Friday granted seven-day protective bail to the bureau chief of ARY News Khawar Ghuman. The journalist approached the court through his counsel Advocate Abuzar Salman Niazi while Justice Sardar Saleem Shahid of the LHC took up the case. On Wednesday, ARY News anchorperson Arshad Sharif and Bureau Chief Khawar Ghuman filed pre-arrest bail petitions in the Islamabad High Court seeking bail in the sedition case registered against them in Karachi. Arshad Sharif, Khawar Ghuman and Executive Producer Adeel Raja filed bail applications in the Islamabad High Court for bail. Police had earlier booked Khawar Ghuman, Arshad Sharif, Adeel Raja and others in a sedition case.