The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz took a leaf out of its hated enemy General Musharraf’s book on Thursday when it closed down a private news channel in different parts of Lahore. The party, which prides itself on raising a voice against anti-democratic
norms and standing up for the rights of the media, showed its ugly side when Dunya News exposed their “rent a crowd” tactics for the demonstration on Friday.
Camera teams of the TV Channel walked in on Punjab Government officials making payments to several transporters for assuring their co-operation in Friday’s rally. As it is a party rally, any involvement of government officials is strictly illegal. However,
not only were the officials paying from, allegedly, public funds, they were doing so inside the premises of government offices.
As soon as the pictures were broadcast on different the TV channel, Dunya News was taken off two of the main cable networks in the city. When the news was shortly followed by Imran Khan’s appearance on the show, the PML-N took it the channel of the remaining
two major cable networks, virtually blocking it out for the audiences in Lahore.
Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, is a political rival of the PML-N and has severely criticized Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif over bad governance and corruption. The PML-N has suffered a drop in popularity as a result and instead of
clearing their name, the Sharif brothers have decided to take a high handed approach against anyone who raises a voice.
PTI had announced a demonstration in Minto Park(Iqbal Park), Lahore for 30th October, which has been seen as a serious threat to the PML-N. The Nawaz league therefore decided to hold a procession on 28th October, after first declaring
it would be held on earlier dates, in order to try and counter PTI’s rally.
Since then the political temperature in the provincial capital has risen considerably, and the PML-N has been exposed for high handedness and undemocratic activities.
PML-N workers were earlier shown taking down banners of rival political parties by TV cameras while many channels have complained of receiving threatening messages from the party over coverage given to the same political rivals.