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Pakistan TV Station Critical Of Government Taken Off Air


A Pakistani journalist protests against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority after a previous suspension of ARY News in 2014. The station has long been at loggerheads with the regulator over its criticism of the government.

A Pakistani television station close to former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been taken off the air in much of the country after a segment was aired about the armed forces that was deemed a threat to national security.

ARY News representative Ahmad Yousaf, vice president of the network, said the decision was "illegal and ridiculous," and would be challenged in court.

ARY, one of Pakistan's largest private TV channels, has long been a supporter of Khan, who has been critical of the country's powerful military since being ousted in a no-confidence vote in April.

A notice seen by the media from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to ARY said "hateful, seditious, and malicious content on your channel raises serious concerns about your mala fide intent."

The channel on August 8 had broadcast an allegation by an adviser to Khan that the ruling party was behind a smear campaign against the army.

The report also suggested that army officers should not follow "illegal and unconstitutional orders" from their higher-ups.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists warned of nationwide protests if full transmission was not restored.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

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