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LHC Orders Pemra to Ensure Unrestricted Media Access for Imran Khan and Other Candidates

Media Access

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a directive to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to ensure that former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as well as candidates from all political parties, receive “free and unrestricted” access to media platforms in the lead-up to the February 8 general elections.

The order comes in response to a petition filed by Imran Khan last year against Pemra’s decision to prohibit satellite TV channels from broadcasting his speeches and press talks. Imran had argued that the ban was driven by “vengeance.” The LHC had previously suspended the ban, sending the case to a larger bench, where it remains pending.

In the recent directive, Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza emphasized the importance of providing equal media opportunities to political candidates, especially with the upcoming elections. The court highlighted that informed citizenry is crucial for meaningful participation in the electoral process and stressed the need for a level playing field where all candidates can communicate their messages to the public.

Referring to past Supreme Court judgments, the LHC affirmed that the government has no right to prevent media coverage of certain candidates or parties. It further stated that media platforms must offer unconstrained access to candidates from all political parties to ensure an informed electorate and contribute to free and fair elections.

The court directed Pemra to strictly ensure free and unrestricted access to media platforms for Imran Khan and candidates from all parties without any constraints. The case originated from Pemra’s ban on broadcasting Imran Khan’s speeches, alleging baseless allegations and hate speech against state institutions.

Imran challenged the ban, asserting that it was illegal, exceeded Pemra’s jurisdiction, and violated constitutional rights. The recent LHC directive reinforces the principles of media equality and the importance of allowing candidates to convey their messages to the public during the electoral process.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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