Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pakistani Media and the ISI: A Demon Devouring Freedom of Expression
By New Age Islam Edit Desk

25 June, 2014

The recent ban on the Jung group of publications’ TV channel Geo has brought to fore the power and influence Pakistan’s ISI has over the media. In April this year, the senior journalist of Geo Hamid Mir was shot by some unidentified assailants. Hamid Mir had suggested the hands of ISI in the attack as he has been very critical of the role of ISI in the country. Last month, his brother had said on the channel that ISI chief had ordered the attack on his brother. This invited the wrath of the ISI which is the intelligence wing of the Pakistan army.

Under pressure from Pakistan army, Geo TV was banned for 15 days. Just before that, it made another mistake. In one of its morning shows, it played the video footage of the wedding of Veena Malik and Asad Malik with a traditional song that suggested that Veena Malik was like Hadhrat Fatima (R.A) and her husband was like Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) This created a controversy as the PEMRA, the regulatory authority of electronic media got 5000 complaints about the programme. Though the GEO broadcast apology on its channel, people, religious and militant organisations demanded blasphemy case slapped against the channel.

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