Still blocked Geo to sue Pemra for contempt of court

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ISLAMABAD: Geo television has decided to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court again by moving a contempt of court petition against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) after the apex court’s orders to restore the Geo transmission were completely ignored and the government’s ‘instructions’ on this count simply put into dustbin by the Pemra. As a result, Geo is still blacked out across the country.

After the horrible attack on Pakistan’s star journalist and Geo News senior anchorperson Hamid Mir on April 19 in Karachi, certain forces started getting the transmission of Geo News closed or shifting the channel to last numbers on cable networks. Within a few days, Geo News and other channels of the Geo family were either put off air or were thrown on the last numbers on cable networks in 70% areas of Pakistan.

Viewers could not watch their favourite channel on the last numbers because of limited channel carrying capacity of their TV sets or bad signal quality at those numbers. Geo continuously informed Pemra about the closure or obstruction in its transmission but the authority never took any action and remained mysteriously silent though it was its fundamental duty to resolve the complaints from any channel facing closure.

However, later the hidden forces intensified their action against the Geo News and all other channels of Geo family were put off air in more than 95% areas of Pakistan and the organisation itself announced that channels were completely closed in Pakistan. After failing to get any relief from Pemra even after filing five complaints, Geo moved the Supreme Court which in its judgment clearly ordered the authority to get the Geo News and all Geo channels restored immediately and shifted to their original positions.

After the Supreme Court had started its proceedings, the government also asked the Pemra to try to get Geo restored. The Pemra issued a letter to all the cable operators to restore all the Geo channels to their original positions.

However, Pemra’s action remained confined to issuing this letter and also taking action against the powerful cable operators at some places but the result was almost zero. The reason was backing of cable operators by some hidden forces and incompetence and insincerity of Pemra officials at many places. All this resulted in complete disregard of the Supreme Court’s May 26 judgment, which was not implemented anywhere as Geo is still facing a countrywide blackout and also terrible conspiracies against it and its staff on a daily basis.

Geo is the most popular channel of Pakistan known for open debates and independent and impartial analysis and comments. Geo is also known for providing the latest information and exclusive news to its tens of millions of viewers across Pakistan and many parts of the world.

Not only Geo is completely off in Pakistan and Pemra is unable to restore Geo and its channels and thus implement the clear judgment of the Supreme Court but the staff of Geo is also working under constant threats. Most interestingly, the so-called democratic provincial governments are so far unable to provide protection to Pakistan’s largest media house and its journalists and workers.

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