Advanced Television

Pakistan bans Geo News

June 9, 2014

By Chris Forrester

Not for the first time has Geo News been in trouble with Pakistan’s media authorities. Geo News transmits to Pakistan in Urdu, and has been suspended from broadcasting for 15 days, and fined the equivalent of $100,000 by Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

These latest problems started with allegations that Pakistan’s powerful spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) somehow had something to do with an attack back in April on a Geo News staff member, journalist Hamid Mir. The dispute accelerated into arguments about freedom of the press and reports on the growing divide between the country’s military and its civilian leaders.

The military is said to have pressured some cable operators to take Geo News off their circuits.

Geo News broadcasts by satellite from Dubai. It has suffered interference in Pakistan on various occasions, most notably in November 2007 when Pakistan declared a state of emergency, and again in March 2009 for a few days, although it has also found certain live discussion programmes banned in Pakistan.

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