LAHORE: The broadcasting services of Geo News were restored after more than a week in the posh areas of the metropolitan including Gulberg, DHA and cantonment, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to the details, one of the leading and oldest private TV channel of the country was off-air for around two weeks in some parts of Lahore that include Gulberg, Defence and most of the cantonment areas. Several residents of these areas also registered their complaints with the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and their respective cable operators of the areas to restore the broadcasting services of the channel.
Habib-ur-Rahman, a resident of cantonment area, also confirmed while talking to Pakistan Today that Geo News remained off-air in his area for nearly two weeks but now the services have started improving since Friday evening. “I am completely unaware of the fact that why Geo News goes off-air in my area, in this age when the media is free and our rulers also claim that they believe in the freedom of expression,” he said.
Another citizen Malik Asad from DHA also narrated the same story and demanded stern actions against those who try to curb the freedom of expression by doing such illegal activities. “The choice of channel that I really want to watch completely lies with me but the fluctuation in the position of Geo News is a routine exercise in my area and the signals of the same channel also remain weak most of the time,” he commented.
A local distributor of Wateen Cable TV told this scribe on the condition of anonymity that some government officials hailing from ‘powerful quarters’ visited his office and asked him to take Geo News off-air as the said channel has run a ‘controversial’ story that is against national interests. “The powerful officials did not explain to me the story run by the channel,” the distributor further said.
When Pakistan Today approached PEMRA to get their version, the spokesperson of the authority Maham Ali said that PEMRA did not issue such directives to any cable operator. “PEMRA never indulges in any unconstitutional or illegal activity of any kind or any practice aimed at curbing the media freedom,” she said. We are taking actions against those who are shifting channel positions and blaming PEMRA, the spokesperson said.
However, manager of Corporate Communications and Public Relations of Wateen Salman Mazhar said that Geo News is on-air in these areas and the company hasn’t received any complaint at all.