Mar 13, 2009 0
Broadcasts of GEO News has been shut down in areas of Pakistan’s major cities, including: Gujranwala, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Sargodha.
Update: 12:58PM (New York) — Aaj TV reports that its channel number has also been changed in a number of cities in Pakistan.
This is clearly due to pressure from the federal government on local cable providers.
GEO News has taken a critical stance of Asif Zardari and other leading PPP officials. The station has broadcast public service announcements from a foundation affiliated with its owner containing sound bites from leading PPP officials in favor of the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. These officials, such as Law Minister Farooq Naik, now oppose Iftikhar’s restoration.
Also, GEO News adds that some cable operators have been ordered to put the station as the last channel available so viewers are unable to find it. If this has been done to your cable service, then all you need to do is go to channel 1 and press the up button, instead of scrolling down the dozens of channels you have.
The move sheds light on the Pakistani government’s new strategy toward the Long March. Earlier, there were false leaks of a deal between the PPP and PML-N. The intent of these leaks were to confuse the public (fooled me!), create a divide between the PML-N and the Lawyers Movement, and take the air out of the Long March.
Targeting GEO’s transmissions in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, in particular, is designed to further the confusion and prevent information sharing regarding the Long March, which is scheduled to go arrive in Islamabad on Monday.