LAHORE – To the utter surprise of the whole journalistic community, the transmission of a local television channel was suspended secretly for all the day on Tuesday and could be restored in the evening when senior politicians of the ruling party intervened.
The transmission of City 42 which covers and airs the city events and news stories was suspended abruptly while the members of the journalist community could not know the reasons behind the suspension.
The suspension of the transmission left no choice for the workers of the TV channel but to go on strike.
Reporters, copy editors, cameramen and all other staff members of the channel participated in the strike which continued till the evening.
Asad Sahi, executive producer/chief reporter of the said channel, told The Nation that they could not know why the transmission of the channel was stopped and who the people were behind it.
He added they asked cable operators about it, but they did not tell them anything.
When they approached the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) authorities, they confirmed no application had been filed against the channel.
PML-N Lahore President Pervez Malik reached the spot and assured the administration of the TV channel of his full support, saying they would not allow suspension of the City42 transmission.
Khawaja Imran Nazir, Shahbaz Butt, PTI leader Khalid Pervez and some religious leaders also reached there and assured the channel staff of their full support.
Some cable operators were also seen in the news conference held in front of the TV office.
The workers of City42, including editors, copy editors, reporters, cameramen and members of other departments, observed strike which continued all the day.
They chanted slogans against the government and termed it a ‘coward attack’ on journalism.
They said shutting down a TV channel in a democratic setup was shameful and termed the government’s step dictatorial.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and other journalistic bodies all over the country strongly condemned the act of the government for suspending the TV channel transmission.
They said they would never let anybody impose curbs on journalism.
The elected body of the Lahore Press Club also condemned the suspension of the transmission of the TV channel, demanding immediate restoration of the same.