Imran Khan given equal media coverage by LHC

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It has come to the attention of the Lahore High Court (LHC) that in the days remaining until the general elections, political canvassing is intensifying, and the authorities concerned have been ordered to give equal media coverage to all general election candidates, including Imran Khan, founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Earlier this month, the LHC dismissed the petition filed by the PTI founder and noted that in a detailed judgment to be issued in the near future, directions regarding the telecast of speeches of the PTI leader will be provided.

I am pleased to inform you that the LHC convicted the incarcerated PTI founder Shams Mirza Mehmood on Wednesday in a 10-page written ruling against the alleged ban on his media coverage, which he appealed.

Imran Khan Niazi vs. PEMRA by jahanzaib yasin

In its verdict, the LHC has stated that, in addition to all other rights that a citizen has under the Constitution, the right to free speech is among the most important rights of citizens.

According to the LHC, all political parties have a fundamental right to run election campaigns and advertise election manifestos in order to achieve their objectives.

According to it, freedom of speech through free media is essential in order to conduct free and transparent elections and that free elections cannot be held without the right to freedom of speech. It further added that free elections cannot be held without freedom of expression.

There is also a reference in the written decision of the LHC judge to the decisions in the cases of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, both former prime ministers.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), the federal government, the information ministry, and other government agencies had submitted their submissions to the LHC as part of the response process.

Ahmad Pansota, the advocate of PTI founder and a member of the Supreme Court, had earlier told the court that air time for political parties is a legal requirement under the principle of equality as per the constitution.

It was further stated that the LHC had also directed Pemra not to pressurize TV channels in order to prohibit the telecast of speeches delivered by PTI leader Imran Khan.

In his speech, Khan had stated that there are no restrictions on the broadcast of his speeches by electronic media, according to Pemra.

Before the February 8 polls, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPI) has suffered two successive setbacks as two of its senior leaders – Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi – were jailed for 10 years each in crime of ciphers.

Earlier in the day, the PTI founder and his spouse Bushra Bibi were sentenced to 14 years in prison in a reference relating to the illegal selling of state gifts in the Toshakhana case. This is the harshest punishment that has been given to him in the multiple cases that have been registered against him.

In an attempt to deny a level playing field ahead of the national election, the Peoples Party of India (PTI) has categorised the cases as politically motivated and has accused them of being part of efforts to achieve this goal.

It was reported by timenews.

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