Cable Operators Block Geo TV Following Firdous Ashiq’s Press Conference
Geo TV’s broadcast was reportedly blocked and the channel was shifted to the last numbers in some parts of the country on Friday. According to a report in The News, many cable operators, however, refused to listen to the government’s orders saying that they have not been issued the directives in writing.
This happened soon after Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan spoke about the arrest of Geo-Jang owner Mir Shakilur Rahman in a press conference and said that it was wrong to link Rahman’s arrest with the government.
President Geo and Jang Group Imran Aslam was quoted by The News as saying that it was a clear plot against the group and those who blocked Geo want to deny public their right to information.
Geo News Director News Rana Jawad said that the orders to cable operators [to shut down Geo or move it to the last numbers] came from Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) . He added that these directives were also given to the main cable operator in Islamabad who did not tell as to what the legal basis for the step were.
Meanwhile, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged the Pakistan authorities to “immediately lift restrictions placed on Geo News and allow it to broadcast freely”.
On Thursday, owner of Geo-Jang group Mir Shakilur Rehman has been arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a case pertaining to purchase of a 45 kanal piece of land.