Approaching the Crunch

So I’m surfing through all the channels, looking for Geo News which I am obviously unable to find, since the transmission has been blocked. The running text on Geo Super confirms my suspicions, since it says that “The Government has blocked the transmission of Geo News in various parts of Pakistan.” So much for pointing out the obvious. Geo Super also provides three phone numbers to be contacted on in case viewers are unable to view Geo News in their area. 021 227-1275, 77-78.
Meanwhile, TVOne is broadcasting PM Shaukat Aziz’s statement in which he says two things, one being that the media is completely independent of the government, and also that the government will take strict judicial action against media channels that will go against PEMRA’s decision. Is the man making sense to anyone here? Definitely not to me.

In order for the media to be completely independent of the government, PEMRA needs to declare its impartiality towards the whims of the running government at all times. I can’t possibly imagine the next ruling party of the country to be any more tolerant of criticism than this is. So where does it end?
I guess it will pretty much boil down to the printed press and the electronic media, because the day the major media channels will protest censorship, who will be left to cover them? We will.

32 Comments so far

  1. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 3:02 am

    A brief narrative of PEMRA orders that i just posted on IMB.

  2. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 3:15 am

    Is this what they called Enlightened Moderation – they made tall claims of an independent media and as soon as the media starts pointing fingers back at them they start pulling the plug on these channels.

    I have long since claimed that this Enlightened Moderation was a misnomer to hide the word Martial Law – I think we are seeing those drapes being pulled back to finally revel the evil hiding behind those to word

  3. AH (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 3:21 am

    Pakistan will never have an independent anything, judiciary or media, because of the endemic corruption within the state structures. The best we can hope for is for a relatively independent structure.

    I admit that this is a pessimistic POV but then so is reality. Of course, this does not mean that we should not raise our voices against the government’s obvious hypocrisy.

  4. Kashif (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 3:21 am

    Geo News went down approx 10pm when Mairay Mutabiq was coming.

  5. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 3:38 am

    Dr Shahid Masood on Mairay Mutabiq took call of Kabir Ali Wasti.. Vice President of ruling Q league.. this guy thrashed Gen Mush and MQM openly..
    and i was expecting some serious backlash for geo..

    maybe tommorow PAMERA might ban telephone calls during shows.. after they banned live coverage of events..

    i subscribe to two different cable operators.. one went down immediately after start of “Jawabdeh” programme in which Imran Khan thrashed MQM and Altaf… it resumed after that programme and again went offline when Dr Shahid’s prog started..

    my 2nd cable connection wasn’t affected..

    i called up my 1st cable operator and categorically told him that if blockage continued then i won’t be paying him his monthly fee..and he
    gave excuses that local MQM guys have threatened him to take those chan off air..

  6. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 3:45 am

    normally Dr Shahid Masood’s prog is repeated next day at around 2:00 pm lets see if they’re able to repeat telecast this one tommorow or not.. coz Kabir Wasti was openly thrashing Mush and MQM and was saying that majority of Q league including Shujat and Mushahid Hussain were against wat ever thats being done by President house and they even tried to mediate between CJ but President didn’t wanted them to do it.. he was all praise for army but said that Mush was dragging army into it all and giving them bad name.. and what ever happened on 12 May in karachi majority of Q league leaders condemned it with exception from PM and Sheikh Rasheed .. and he told that poor PM can’t send any reference against CJ on his own, its just his name thats used and in reality the whole reference was cooked up at president house…

  7. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 3:56 am

    first live coverage banned… now channels closed down.. what’ll be next , this govt can even murder its own citizen to achieve objectives which is evident from 12may’s events.. dictator is just interested in staying power , and doesn’t care if a terrorist party supports him or any one else.. as long as they support him then they’re clean.. otherwise agencies will be all over them…

  8. BitterTruth (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 4:16 am

    Media ban should be condemned but at the same time there should be some media authority who can act independently of govt as well as media owners. These media owners are not angels and likely to blackmail government in future.

  9. Darwaish (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 4:38 am

    I am in Lahore and even Aaj tv disappeared from my cable around 10:30 pm. Is it coming there in Karachi?

    Here we didn’t face any problem during Imran Khan’s interview on Jawab De but as soon Dr. Shahid took Kabir Wasti’s call and he started taking class of president(?), Geo News went down. I wonder what will happen to Mr. Wasti and even Dr. Shahid.

    There goes our freedom of expression. Don’t be surprised if govt comes after blogs in coming weeks. May God have mercy on us.

  10. BoZz (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 9:39 am

    Liberty has never come from the government.
    Liberty has always come from the subjects of government.
    The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it: Woodrow Wilson

  11. ali raza (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 10:35 am

    When i turned on Geo TV in UK to watch 9 pm news. I was shocked that geo was banned after 10 pm in pakistan. But at 10 locak time all came in to sence when Dr Shaid Masood Came. some one from PML Q was thrashing MUSH, MQM and i was overjoyed to see that. i think its is the time for change.

  12. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 11:55 am

    Pls do note that current ban was not imposed by Pemra. It was rather imposed by Pakistan Cable Opr Association. They’re being more loyal than king. Read todays papers. They said they would keep doing this. They also threatened GEO that they would not telecast GEO 2 hrs daily.

    Waise Shahid masood took good tussle from Shaikh Rasheed. Shahid masood has been threatened as well and someone called him and asked Kitne Gaz latha bhejoun?. Read here:

    Maybe Dawood Ibrahim did this because Shahid resides in UAE where MQM can’t do anything at all? *grin*

    Cable operators:

  13. Scared Pakistani (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

    This is very disturbing and honestly now I am scared that something really bad is about to happen. Good story on this here also

  14. Pakistani (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

    I think our media should also take some responsibilities. After all they are master of yellow journalism.
    If they continue to trash the government openly this will hurt the nation’s image. Whatever the media, the opposition parties and the judiciary are trying is not what I want to see. Do you want to see Banazeer or Nawaz Shareef again as our PM??? No way Parweez Mush is better!
    We all want to see democracy in our country but I think we are not ready for it, not until all the current politician dies.
    Long live Pakistan

  15. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

    Dr Shahid Masood says he tried to contact MQM’s international hideout in London countless times and left message for Dr Imran Farooq to get MQM’s version but he didn’t returned the call.. whereas Iftikhar Malik of Geo’s “Jawabdeh” also said that he had invited Dr Farooq Sattar of MQM to get his side of story but he didn’t turn up for the interview either..

    Imran Khan’s PTI’s leaders and their famlies in karachi are receiving threats from MQM’s terrorist ..

  16. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 1:09 pm

    wat was being shown on Ajj Tv? live with Talat?

  17. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

    Geo’s Merey Mutabiq (Kabir Ali Wasti)

  18. Kashif (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

    Kabir Wasti has (or will in future) joined MML, new King’s party in making.

    It’s a real shame what they did with Geo. Marshal law is getting closer now.

    Let’s start a campaign in blogosphere about ban of Geo News and undue pressure on media.

  19. sumaiyya (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    its really heartrending that a person(mr general) who holds the highest power along with leading an institution of the same stature is such a coward that he want to strangulate the flow of information on the name of Pemra.
    thnk GOD! my cable operator is still showing these channels,finger crossed for today’s Talat show!

  20. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

    Pakistani,why did you change your handle?;) following Mush’s footsteps? :d

  21. asa (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 6:14 pm

    Musharraf has made pakistan and pakistanis a laughing stock..This man has uprooted a democratically elected govt in a military coup,put the chief justice of supreme court of pakistan into a pigeon hole without even basic amenities,terrorised and attacked the news centre of media and journalists and has made pakistan a foot soldiers to do the dirty work of other countries….shame shame….and still this man has the gall of telling that he is propagating democracy and freedom…..hahhaha

  22. Mansoor Rana (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 8:02 pm

    I think following steps can be taken to fight the PEMRA / CABLE MAFIA

    1. Buy a Dish Antena and a Reciever(a unit costs less than 5000 Rs) and share it with Mohalla / neigbours. Even better is to inject the signal in your cable connection :)

    2. Geo / Aaj / ARY may make available the hourly news and all talk shows in a format where people can download them to their mobiles and share with friends via bluetooth etc.

  23. Saad (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

    All of us know about BBC, NBC and other channel’s content providing deals with You Tube, and I seriously think that Aaj, Geo and Ary should follow suit. They should upload their prime time content (Live with Talat, Meray Mutabiq, Capital Talk etc) on You Tube. This will allow unhindered access to these programs from all around the world.

  24. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 8:16 pm

    Dr Shahid Masood is receiving death threats like @Adnan mentioned earlier… Geo is also receiving threatening phone calls.. i dunno how they’ll treat Kabir Ali Wasti..

  25. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 4th, 2007 @ 11:54 pm
  26. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 12:14 am

    نئی ترامیم میں ایک اہم شق موبائل اور انٹرنیٹ سے متعلق ہے جس کے تحت پرانے آرڈیننس میں جہاں صرف ڈی ٹی ایچ یا براہ راست گھر تک ٹی وی کی سروس کے الفاظ کے ساتھ تھے اب وہاں آئی پی ٹی وی یا انٹرنیٹ پر ٹی وی اور موبائل ٹی

    وی کی سروسز بھی شامج کئے گئے ہیں۔

    meaning now ipTV and youtube aslo come under pamera law.. if they found you viewing that YouTube vid of Kabir Wasti.. they can impound your PC or seal your home? ! :P

  27. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 12:23 am
  28. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 12:26 am

    i am not surprised at all.. after that Wasti call in Dr Shahid’s prog i thought maybe tommrow morning either they’ll ban this show or ban phone calls in this show or some other draconian measure to curb freedom of expression ..

  29. SELF (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 1:20 am

    At least truth came out before they banned it that General alone is responsible. Not PML Q, not anyone else.

    General must be wondering…Jin pay takya tha wuhee puttay…

  30. Saad (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 2:49 am

    Curbs on Media – Live with Talat (not so live anymore, since the program was pre-recorded)


  31. Ahmed Ali Khan (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 3:20 am

    I guess Ban on GEO has nothing to do with GOV, its totally a clash with Cable operators and GEO.
    The clash happened in press conference of cable operators in lahore and after that the cable operators banned the GEO.
    More intrestingly the Cable OPerators in Karachi Press conference that MMA are giving threats to Cable operators to show this and don’t show that.

  32. d0ct0r (unregistered) on June 5th, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

    @Ahmed it was just a baseless allegation to counter the earlier fax of MQM’s terrorist organisation Muhajir Rabita Council which issued death threats to 13 senior journalist(most of whom are ironically Muhajir) and they were declared Muhajir Dushmaan(enemies of muhajir) and threatened to be eliminated.. and later on live bullets were found in envelopes in their cars parked outside Karachi press club

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