An interview of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz was “forcefully” taken off air within a few minutes of broadcasting, Dawn has reported.
Taking to Twitter, Pakistani journalist and Hum News anchor Nadeem Malik said, “Just came to know Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s interview has been stopped forcefully just [a] few minutes after it started live.”
— Nadeem Malik (@nadeemmalik) July 11, 2019
The news channel also released a statement against the move. “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 Consitution.”
The development comes days after three channels — AbbTakk TV, 24 News, and Capital TV — had their broadcasts cut for showing the press conference of the PML-N leader.
While authorities claimed that the three channels were unavailable due to “technical issues”, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a global media watchdog, called it an act of “brazen censorship”.
The organisation also said the move was “indicative of disturbing dictatorial tendencies” in Pakistan.
Last year in December, Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment on graft charges. During a recent press meet, Maryam had claimed that the judge was blackmailed into issuing a verdict against her father.
The Imran Khan-led government has vowed to block any media coverage and interviews of politicians “who are convicts and under trial”.
Earlier this month, Geo News TV had abruptly taken an interview with former president Asif Ali Zardari off air shortly after it began.