In my last post, I mentioned that Electronic Media is under siege and many programs are likely to be banned. But I was not expecting it to happen so soon. Geo News transmission have been completely shut down in most parts of the country and Aaj TVvhas disappeared from my cable at least (WorldCall Cable, Lahore).
I don’t know if Aaj TV has been completely banned or not. It happened while I was watching Dr. Shahid Masood’s Mere Mutabiq. Muslim League (Q)’s own Vice President Kabir Wasti was strongly criticizing General Musharaf, holding him responsible for the judicial crises when suddenly Geo News was shut down. I thought that its a temporary ban and transmission will be back as soon as Dr. Shahid’s program is over but its been several hours now and still no signs of Geo or Aaj coming back on my cable. A friend of mine sent me this SMS from Karachi that Geo News disappeared from most parts of the Sindh around 8 o clock too during Imran Khan’s interview in another program Jawab De.
Geo News website has this to say:
The government has blocked the transmission of the Geo News TV channel across the country due to the reasons best known to them. The viewers calls flooded the Geo office to ask that why the transmission of Geo News TV channel was suddenly suspended when the famous programme, â€œMeray Mutabik” was going on air.
The calls from the viewers were received from various parts of the country. According to Geo News sources the government has blocked the transmission of the Geo News. Geo transmission was blocked in various parts of Islamabad, Lahore, Hyderabad, Karachi and other areas. The citizens, social and political circles have condemned the ban on transmission of Geo News and they have demanded of the government to immediately lift ban on the transmission of the Geo News and give complete freedom to media in the country.
I am unable to understand why this step has been taken but lets wait and see the official reason which will surely be Afwaje Pakistan ke khilaaf baat ki gaye hai. I suspect the title of Dr. Shahid’s program Idaro Ka Takrao – Fatah Kiski Ho Gi (Clash of Institutions – Who Will be Victorious) must have caused concerns among people sitting in Information Ministry aka Mr. Ghalat Biyani.
Whatever government says but I thought it was a very interesting program and a healthy discussion going on when some wise men decided to shut it down. I hope the ban is lifted soon and government shows some common sense. Like they say in Urdu, Kuch Hosh Ke Nakhun Lo Bhai. Whatever happened to those free media and freedom of press claims :). This is yet another direct attack on freedom of expression and truly a shameful act and should be strongly condemned. I am afraid Dr. Shahid Masood will be in trouble once again for not being afraid, for speaking his mind and saying what is in hearts of millions of ordinary Pakistanis.