Ban on live speech lifted as Pakistan's ex-Premier Khan hosts global call for flood relief
Islamabad court suspends ban on live telecast of Imran Khan's public speeches
By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD (AA) - A Pakistani court on Monday lifted the ban on live telecast of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's speeches as he is set to seek international donations to help flood victims of Pakistan.
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that the ban on the former premier shows that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has acted "beyond its authority."
Justice Minallah suspended the Pemra order and adjourned the hearing till Sept. 5, according to daily Dawn.
Earlier, Khan's counsel Faisal Hussain Chaudhry informed the court that the former premier was going to hold an international telethon to raise funds for the flood victims and its expected that he will collect a huge amount today night.
"It is always an honour to argue constitutional questions before the Courts. Advocated for @ImranKhanPTI's freedom of speech in petition filed against PEMRA's notification banning live coverage of IK's speeches. IHC has rightly decided to suspend the notification," Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, who was part of Khan's legal team, tweeted.
Last week, the country's media regulatory watchdog banned a live broadcast of Khan's speech, accusing him of hurling "baseless" allegations and threats against state institutions and government officials.
The action came hours after Khan's fiery speech at a protest meeting in the national capital of Islamabad, where he threatened police officials and a female judge, who he said are responsible for the alleged torture of a close aide in police custody.
Khan's adviser, commonly known as his "chief of staff," Shahbaz Gill, is on trial for allegedly inciting mutiny in the armed forces.
The former premier's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which led a nationwide protest against Gill's arrest, has accused police of "torturing" him to obtain a statement from Gill against Khan.
The government and police have denied the charge.