ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday decided to immediately take both the BOL News and BOL Entertainment TV channels off the air for not getting over “security clearance from the Interior Ministry”.
The decision was made at Pemra’s 174th meeting, which was led by Pemra Chairman Muhammad Saleem Baig, according to a statement from the organisation.
At the meeting, it was said that Ms. Labbaik’s licences had been taken away by Pemra at its 131st meeting of 2017 because the Ministry of the Interior had not given security clearance. The channels went to the Sindh High Court to fight PEMRA’s order, but they kept on broadcasting. The case was over by 2021.
It said that Pemra’s lawyer had made it clear that neither channel could go on the air unless the Interior Ministry gave M/s Labbaik a security clearance.
After looking at all of the court orders and letters from the Ministry of the Interior, the group in charge of regulating the media said that both BOL channels had to stop broadcasting.
The group that keeps an eye on the media said that Ms. Labbaik had not sent in a request to renew BOL Entertainment’s licence, which was set to expire in December 2021.
Imran Khan, the leader of the PTI and a former prime minister, said that Premier Shehbaz Sharif’s coalition government shut down BOL because it covered Khan’s party.
“Imported government has reached fascist levels of censorship and persecution of the media and journalists. Bol was taken off the field because it made us pay attention. The message to all major news outlets is to stop covering the biggest and most popular national political party. On his official Twitter account, he wrote, “Not okay.”