Maryam Nawaz’s interview ‘forcefully’ taken off air

July 12, 2019
Islamabad:  A televised interview of Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was “forcefully” taken off shortly after it was aired, the media reported on Friday.

“Just came to know Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s interview has been stopped forcefully just (a) few minutes after it started live,” show host Nadeem Malik tweeted on Thursday night.

Hum News, the channel on which the interview was aired for a few brief moments, released a statement shortly after the incident, saying: “Hum News believes in a free and responsible media.

“Protecting freedom of expression is one of our core values. At the same time, we stand for the respect and dignity of (the) judiciary in line with our ethical values and the Constitution,” Dawn news reported.

The development comes days after AbbTakk TV, 24 News, and Capital TV all had their broadcasts cut after screening a press conference by Maryam, who is also a Vice President of the opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

At the press conference on July 6, Maryam released a video that featured a conversation between Judge Malik and PML-N supporter Nasir Butt where the former confessed that he had been “pressurised and blackmailed” to convict the former Prime Minister, Dawn news reported.

Authorities have said that the three channels were unavailable due to “technical issues”, but Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a global media watchdog, described the outage as an act of “brazen censorship”.

Thursday’s move also came as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration vowed to block any media coverage and interviews of politicians “who are convicts and under trial”.

Earlier this month, Geo News TV abruptly took an interview with former President Asif Ali Zardari off air shortly after it began. IANS