KARACHI: The controversial Aisay Nahi Chaley Ga show hosted by anchor Dr Amir Liaquat on the BOL TV channel stands banned once again, as the Sindh High Court (SHC) withdrew its stay order granted on Friday.
Headed by SHC chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah, the two-judge bench recalled the temporary stay order it had granted on Wednesday on an appeal filed by Labbaik (Pvt) Limited that owns BOL TV channel.
The withdrawal order came on an application filed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), which had also approached the high court. The court also issued notices to the management of the Labbaik (Pvt) Limited and the deputy attorney general to file their comments by February 22, when the next hearing is scheduled.
During Friday’s proceedings, Pemra’s lawyer Zahid Ebrahim and Kashif, placed before the bench a copy of the order passed by the Supreme Court, which had upheld the electronic media regulatory body’s ban on the show.
They alleged that the petitioner had obtained a stay from the high court by concealing facts of the case. Therefore, they pleaded the court review its earlier decision in the light of the SC’s order.
CJ Shah observed that the bench was not aware of the order passed by the apex court. “In the meanwhile, the suppression to this court’s order dated February 7, the order passed by the apex court on February 8 at para 5(iii) shall remain in field which,” ordered the CJ Shah.
On January 27, Pemra slapped a ban on ‘Aisay Nahi Chaley Ga’ show of anchor Amir Liaquat, who was severely criticised by the civil society members on the social media for allegedly levelling the allegations of blasphemy against the disappeared bloggers in his television show.
Later, human rights and social media activist, Jibran Nasir, had approached Pemra against Liaquat for allegedly running a defamatory and life-threatening campaign against him.Subsequently, Pemra had banned the show. The next day, the television management had obtained a stay against the ban from the SHC.
Therefore, Pemra had appealed against the high court’s order in the apex court, which had upheld the ban. However, it had directed the authority to decide the matter after affording an opportunity of hearing to the parties.
HRCP condemns his ‘vicious campaign’
Meanwhile, In a statement issued on Friday, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave concern over the “vicious campaign” of Amir Liaquat to ridicule renowned journalists and social activists and, even more dangerously, to incite violence against them.
HRCP Chairperson Zohra Yousaf said, “It is troubling that accusations such as sedition, treason and blasphemy are being thrown around in an already intolerant atmosphere.”
The statement adds that while “this unbridled campaign has inevitably ended up in court, such proceedings must address concerns for the safety of the people targeted by the said anchorperson”.
The statement ends by calling on “the government to condemn unequivocally this despicable campaign and put an immediate end to it”, and to ensure “journalists and civil society activists facing verbal assault are protected from a very clear threat of physical attacks.”
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