Islamabad: In the wake of outrage, Pakistan has unblocked India Today’s website, which had a magazine cover carrying its Army Chief Raheel Sharif’s picture. India Today’s online portal (IndiaToday.in) was blocked in Pakistan yesterday, according to a report in The Express Tribune.
As per the report, the move came despite the Lahore High Court disposing of a petition seeking a directive to the government to block access to the website.
Referring to an India Today magazine cover that went viral, petitioner Abdul Hameed in his plea had said that the magazine had published a ‘derogatory photo’ of Pakistan’s Army chief General Raheel Sharif.
Though the Lahore High Court Chief Justice observed that only the parliament was authorised to take a decision in this regard, he said elected representatives of the public should be approached on this account.
Earlier, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had decided to crack down on illegal satellite dishes and Indian content that was being aired across Pakistan.
What India Today Group Editorial Director Raj Chengappa had to say on India Today Magazine blocking issue? They’ve lifted the ban which is good news and good sense has prevailed.The high court actually made a very good order, which said that they were not going to ban India Today under law, even if the Pakistan government does so.
If they’ve decided to do it [lift the ban] so quickly, then good they’re very happy to do so. You know actually, I was surprised and shocked to read the news late last night because it is most unusual. India Today is a publication for 40 years now. We have written the toughest pieces on Pakistan, including when president Musharraf, chief of the Army staff, was in power. We called him America’s General. We had a a series of negative cover against Musharraf. He didn’t ban any of our issues. In fact, I went and interviewed him after that.
We all know where it is coming from. If they’ve lifted the ban it is a good news, and we should accept that. Well, we need to get confirmation because if this is the case, then we are happy and we will congratulate whoever lifted it and took the tough stand.