Firdous ‘did not want to telecast’ PM Imran’s 'interrupted speech' at midnight

PM's adviser on media admits that interruption happened due to her mistake

News Desk June 17, 2019
Special Assistant Firdous Ashiq Awan admits that interruption during Imran Khan's speech was her fault. PHOTO: FILE

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has admitted that the "interruptions" occurred during the recent PM Imran Khan’s address to the nation were her "fault", saying she did not want it to be broadcast the same day.

The recorded address, which was supposed to be broadcast at 9:30pm on June 11, went live on Pakistan Television (PTV) at midnight.

The prime minister's speech was interrupted twice, with people speculating whether the address was censored or there had been a technical glitch.

In his late night address, PM Imran had announced to form a high-powered commission to probe the massive Rs24,000 billion debt piled up in the last 10 years.

Firdous clarified during the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting meeting, headed by Mian Javed Latif, on Monday that the PM's speech was interrupted mainly due to the state television use of "outdated technology", reported Express News.

Initially, she said, the prime minister was only supposed to record a public service message but as the recording started he changed his mind and decided to touch on the other issues as well, which extended the speech time to around 38 minutes.

“The intrusion during the speech happened due to the mismatch of technology... the speech was recorded in a High-Definition (HD) format which the PTV does not support,” said the PM’s adviser, while admitting that it was her mistake and she wanted to record the address through the state-owned TV.

The speech, she added, was not meant to be televised on the said day, however, after the news was reported in all TV channels, “Imran Khan ordered to televise it the same day”.

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