Karachi: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Monday decided to launch a countrywide protest movement against the suspension of the transmission of Pakistan's TV channel ARY News.

PFUJ President, Afzal Butt said that August 23 will be observed as nationwide Black Day and black flags will be hoisted at press clubs across the country to lodge protests against the suspension of ARY News transmission.

The protests will also be held across the country, Butt added.

Earlier on August 19, PFUJ had announced a sit-in outside Parliament House. PFUJ secretary-general Rana Azeem said that the union will march toward Islamabad on Tuesday and added that they have written letters to journalists of all media houses and journalists' organizations.

We will show that journalists are still united and will continue sit-in outside the Parliament House till the restoration of ARY News transmission, he added, reported ARY News.

Moreover, calling on for ARY restoration, the PFUJ leader asserted that the people of the union are ready to go to jail, but will not end the sit-in. He advised the government to act sensibly as putting curbs on freedom of expression will ultimately harm the democracy in the country.

Afzal Butt said that if ARY News is not restored, the workers' solidarity march will be held at the end of August, and the solidarity march with ARY News workers will be started in Karachi.

After Karachi, the solidarity march will enter Punjab through Sindh Baluchistan, journalists from KP, Azad Kashmir, and GB will also be a part of this march, he added.

Meanwhile, the PEMRA chairman said that they have not taken down transmission of ARY News, the cable operators will be present in the court on August 24, let's see whether PEMRA asks the cable operators to restore the channel before the court or not.

He said that after August 24, we will take a solidarity march and go to the Karachi office of ARY News.

It is worthy to note that the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued the written order regarding the restoration of the ARY News transmission and sought a compliance report from the parties within two days.

The notification issued, dated August 11 to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) reads: "The NOC issued in favour of M/S ARY Communications Private (Ltd). is cancelled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies."

Earlier, on August 10, the Sindh High Court directed PEMRA and cable operators to immediately restore the transmission of ARY News, which had been suspended on orders of the government.

In the 10-page order, the Sindh High Court suspended the show-cause notice issued to ARY News by PEMRA. The court also stopped the media regulatory authority from suspending the license of TV channels till the next hearing, reported ARY News.

Prior to the issuance of the notice, ARY News went off air in many parts of the country.

ARY News' transmission was suspended in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Faisalabad and other cities.

As the news outlet shutdown continued, many leaders of Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) took to Twitter and registered their protests.

The entire episode was perpetuated due to a news piece aired by the channel on how the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has reportedly activated its strategic media cell to malign Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and the country's former prime minister Imran Khan.

The court also issued notice to PEMRA and the deputy attorney general and adjourned the hearing until August 17, ARY News reported. Soon it was revealed that PEMRA had ordered the suspension over a statement given by a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shehbaz Gill among other reasons, the ARY News distanced itself from Gill's statement and issued a statement on the matter.

Gill was arrested for "making statements against the state institutions and inciting the people to rebellion," according to the police.

The ARY News clarified that comments or opinions of any individual televised by the network do not represent the channel's policy. Shahbaz Gill's statement was his personal opinion not ARY's editorial policy.

Earlier, the PEMRA issued a show-cause notice to ARY News for airing what it called "false, hateful and seditious content." On Monday, the transmission of Pakistan's ARY News was suspended in different parts of Pakistan.

The Human Rights Commission in Pakistan (HRCP) has strongly opposed the disruptions to ARY News and asked the country's regulatory authorities not to take channels off the air arbitrarily.

"HRCP strongly opposes the disruptions to @ARYNEWSOFFICIAL. PEMRA must refrain from arbitrarily taking channels off the air and protect all media houses' right to freedom of expression, responsibly exercised," HRCP tweeted.