Pakistan’s many television channels host multiple current affairs and politics programmes with often lively discussions of the day’s events [Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera]

A media watchdog has condemned a decision by Pakistani authorities ordering news anchors not to express their opinions on air, the latest in a series of assaults on press freedom in the South Asian country.

The statement by Reporters Without Borders, released on Tuesday, came after Pakistan‘s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) sent the directive to TV channels on Sunday, sparking an outcry from some of the country’s most prominent news anchors.

The statement asked anchors to refrain from commenting on matters that are “under trial” in the courts.

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But it adds that only “unbiased” analysts with “requisite” knowledge should

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