Blocking TV channels' transmission criminal, says Pak Chief Justice

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Islamabad, Aug 14(ANI): Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has said that blocking the transmission of television channels, including the Karachi-based Geo News, was criminal.

Chaudhry made these remarks during a hearing of a petition challenging restrictions against television channels.

Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramaday is also part of the two-member Supreme Court (SC) bench.

"What are law enforcement officials doing? How does a cable operator decide whether to block a particular transmission? We must go to the core of the matter...why is the law not being implemented?" The Dawn quoted Justice Chaudhry, as saying.

"How does the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) regulate cable operators? Why has the PEMRA not taken any serious action in this regard?" he added.

After hearing the arguments, the SC ordered PEMRA Chairman to ensure uninterrupted transmission, and to take strict action against cable operators blocking the channels.

The transmission of Geo News, ARY News, Royal TV and Aaj News was blocked in various parts of Pakistan after they reported a shoe attack on President Asif Ali Zardari during his party address in Birmingham.

According to reports, some Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leaders and government officials had issued threats and warnings to cable operators across the country against continuation of the transmission.

An unidentified middle-aged man had reportedly hurled his pair of shoes one after another at Zardari during the event at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

The shoes missed Zardari and landed close to him.

The shoe-thrower, who has not been identified so far, was arrested and rushed outside the hall by security personnel, but was released later. (ANI)

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