Hamid Mir show taken off air; PEMRA says not responsible


–Hamid Mir expresses dismay, says ‘not living in a free country’

An interview of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari conducted by senior journalist and anchorperson Hamid Mir was taken off air within a few minutes of broadcasting on Geo News Monday evening, leaving many to question the freedom of the press in Pakistan.

The channel ran a ticker at 8 pm — the time interview was supposed to be broadcast– that the show, Capital Talk, won’t be aired.

When contacted, a source in Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), on the condition of anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the authority has nothing to do with stopping the show.

PEMRA’s Code of Ethics also doesn’t mention anything related to a ban on broadcast of interviews of the lawmakers who are arrested, but out on production orders. The interview was conducted at the Parliament House when Asif Ali Zardari’s production orders were issued so that the lawmaker could attend the budget session.

The senior journalist, who was interviewing the former president, took Twitter to express his opinion and dismay. “Interview of Asif Zardari stopped on Geo News within few minutes those who stopped it have no courage to accept publically that they stopped it,” he wrote on the micro-blogging website.

In the next tweet, he apologised to his viewers.

Further, the PPP leader’s son and aspiring politician also Tweeted about the incident saying, “Selected government only wants to hear selected voices. President Zardari’s interview with censored. Pulled from air when it had already started. No difference in Zias Pakistan, Musharrafs Pakistan & NayaPakistan. This is no longer the free country Quaid promised us”.




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