Pakistan’s Censorship Of ARY News Proves How Desperate The Imported Government Has Become
This development completely contradicts the post-modern coup authorities’ claims of supposedly being “democrats that saved Pakistan from fascism” when it’s they themselves that are resorting to anti-democratic fascist censorship for political reasons. The damage that PMLN and their shadowy patrons have done to certain state institutions’ previously impeccable reputations in the public consciousness is what the government should investigate if it was truly as independent as it claims to be since this indisputably harms Pakistan as a whole.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered the suspension of ARY News’ broadcasts on the supposed basis that this popular opposition outlet “intend[s] to spread malice and hatred against the state institution for their vested interest.” It follows that channel reporting just hours prior that “the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has reportedly activated its strategic media cell to malign Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its chairman Imran Khan besides building a narrative to prove the rival as an anti-armed forces power.” ARY News also revealed that the “PM House was reportedly behind the controversies and online campaign launched against President Arif Alvi regarding funeral of the Balochistan helicopter crash martyrs.”
PTI responded to this anti-democratic provocation that its supporters argued is actually illegal by tweeting that “Instead of creating vile and dirty campaign through your media cell, and then taking off the biggest channel of Pakistan, the imported govt should have putted this much effort in providing relief to masses. But they resorted to these shameful tactics! #RestoreARYNews”. Former Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, who remains an influential force within her party, also tweeted that “Right now ARY still remains forcefully removed from screens by Imported govt bec this cabal of crooks has no democratic moorings and cannot bear being exposed for what it is – inept and corrupt. Only in power bec of US regime change conspiracy. #AryUnderAttack #RestoreARYNews”.
The larger context within which this scandal is unfolding concerns PTI’s landslide in last month’s Punjab by-elections on the ruling PMLN’s home turf, which proved beyond any doubt that “The Power Of The Pakistani People Will Defeat Their Unpopular Imported Government”. Instead of preparing for free, fair, and early elections as soon as possible after this latest blow to their false legitimacy, the post-modern coup authorities seemingly decided to double down by banning ARY News on ridiculous pretexts, which is actually counterproductive to their cause. It reeks of desperation and weakness, not to mention that it completely contradicts their claims of supposedly being “democrats that saved Pakistan from fascism” when it’s they themselves that are resorting to anti-democratic fascist censorship for political reasons.
The post-modern coup authorities’ allegation that ARY News “intend[s] to spread malice and hatred against the state institution for their vested interest” is ironic since it’s always been none other than PMLN that’s been responsible for this, though elite echelons of the Pakistani Establishment seemingly have no problem with that as evidenced by their tacit endorsement of the party through this structure’s indirect role in its scandalous return to power. Average Pakistanis were shocked, especially considering the foreign conspiracy allegations shared by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, which made many of them suspect that The Establishment who they trusted to ensure their objective national interests made a Faustian bargain at the possible expense of those same interests.
PMLN has since done nothing to assuage those concerns, nor has the Establishment, since the entirety of their response thus far has actually served to heighten these suspicions. Censoring ARY News is just the post-modern coup authorities’ latest anti-democratic move in the spree thereof that most infamously includes the unprovoked violence that was unleashed against largely peaceful protesters during former Prime Minister Khan’s Long March on May 25. Clinging to power through such means against what’s arguably the people’s will as proven by PTI’s landslide victory in the latest Punjab by-elections on PMLN’s own home turf is what’s most directly responsible for the population losing trust in the elite echelons sitting at the top of their state institutions, not ARY News exposing PMLN’s schemes.
To be absolutely clear, the overwhelmingly vast majority of the population stands in unwavering solidarity with their state institutions’ historical role in ensuring their country’s objective national interests and especially its security in the face of existential threats, but being suspicious about the motives of The Establishment’s elite echelons and their PMLN proxies isn’t the same as “intend[ing] to spread malice and hatred against the state institution for their vested interest.” The greatest mistake that the post-modern coup plotters made was to underestimate their people’s intelligence by condescendingly assuming that they’ll lap up the lies being spewed to cover up their foreign-backed regime change against former Prime Minister Khan when the reality is that Pakistanis knew better.
The Pakistan of today isn’t the Pakistan of decades past where The Establishment could control the narrative through their dominant role over the country’s Mainstream Media (MSM). The times have changed, but this structure’s elite echelons haven’t caught up, which speaks to the generational divide between them and this South Asian state’s majority youthful population that nowadays gets most of its information from online sources. That’s why banning ARY News’ broadcasts won’t dent the popularity of this opposition outlet but actually reaffirm its credentials for speaking truth to power after the post-modern coup authorities got so scared of its reporting, especially after PMLN’s crushing defeat in the Punjab by-elections, that they panicked by censoring it in a desperate bid to cling to power.
This anti-democratic provocation will only turn more people against their imported government and exacerbate suspicions about the motives of those elite members of The Establishment who tacitly endorsed this development by remaining “neutral” and not intervening to prevent it despite this move working against their own interests as was earlier explained. The damage that PMLN and their shadowy patrons have done to certain state institutions’ previously impeccable reputations in the public consciousness is what the government should investigate if it was truly as independent as it claims to be since this indisputably harms Pakistan as a whole. That’s unlikely to happen under the post-modern coup authorities but could occur if PTI democratically returns to power in the event of early elections.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.