80 per cent Geo News is blocked in Pakistan: CPJ

By Nazim Malik

(Pak Destiny) The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has claimed that 80 per cent of the Geo network is blocked on cable in Pakistan.

Managing Director Azhar Abbas told CPJ that the channel has faced arbitrary blockages and changing channel numbers for several years, but currently 80 percent of the network is blocked.

The Washington based organization in a statement issued here today expressed concern over reports that the privately owned Pakistani television channel Geo TV is not accessible throughout parts of the country including Karachi, Lahore, and Multan, despite government assertions that authorities have taken no steps to block it.
“Managing Director Azhar Abbas told CPJ that the channel has faced arbitrary blockages and changing channel numbers for several years, but currently 80 percent of the network is blocked. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) yesterday ordered cable operators to restore the channel to normal distribution within 24 hours or face suspension of their cable licenses, according to Dawn. Cable operators have yet to comply with the order, according to Abbas,” the CJP says.

It further says: “The arbitrary suspension of Geo TV on cable TV is a direct assault on Pakistan’s constitutionally guaranteed right to access information,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler. “It’s outrageous that authorities are either unable to find or too frightened to name those powerful enough to orchestrate the blocking of news distribution.”
Interestingly, Geo Nnews is not running this news on its network. One can only wonders why? Pak Destiny

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