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Media Watchdog Blasts Pakistan’s Decision To Suspend TV Channels

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says it is "appalled" to learn that Pakistani authorities have suspended three TV news channels from cable network for broadcasting an opposition figure’s news conference.

“The recent surge in sudden acts of media censorship is exposing the current regime’s increasingly dictatorial nature," the Paris-based media freedom watchdog said in a July 9 statement.

Reports say AbbTakk TV, 24 News, and Capital TV were taken off the air after showing a live press conference by Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of now imprisoned former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

RSF said the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority was believed to be behind the move.

The media watchdog called on Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to take immediate steps to ensure that cable transmission of the three TV channels is restored.

“This is an absolutely unacceptable violation of the principles of media pluralism and independence during a revelation that was clearly in the Pakistani public interest,” Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said.

Last year, Geo TV, Pakistan’s largest television network, was suspended throughout much of the country.

Pakistan ranks 142nd out of 180 countries listed on RSF’s World Press Freedom Index.

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