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Pakistan releases TV executive detained for anti-army broadcast




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KARACHI, Pakistan A Pakistani court in the southern port city of Karachi on Thursday ordered the release of a TV news director arrested the day before for an anti-army broadcast, his colleagues and his lawyer said.

The release of Ammad Yousaf, a senior executive with the country’s popular private ARY television, came a day after police raided his home and arrested him. He had been accused of broadcasting an anti-army interview with Shahbaz Gill, chief of staff of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

Khan, a famous cricketer turned Islamist politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April.

Pakistan’s media regulator also shut down the TV station.

According to ARY, after his release, Yousaf thanked everyone who had spoken out against his arrest. However, Thursday night, ARY was still off the air.

In the controversial interview, which aired on Monday, Gill urged Pakistani troops and officers to refuse to obey illegal orders in military remarks that were seen by authorities as incitement to mutiny.

Gill was later arrested for treason and faced the death penalty.

Earlier Thursday, Reporters Without Borders condemned Yousaf’s arrest and the suspension of televisions, and accused the powerful Pakistani army of having orchestrated them.

The same crude censorship and harassment of journalists critical of the government keeps happening, said Daniel Bastard, the group’s Asia-Pacific bureau chief,

ARY distanced himself from Gills’ remarks, stressing that he is not part of any campaign against the military. Khan came to power in 2018 vowing to break Pakistan’s pattern of family rule, but his opponents said he was elected with the help of the military, which ruled the country for half his term. 75 years of history.




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