There seems to be a lot of media-centric excitement in front and around the offices of recently banned private channels. Journalists, both from print and electronic media, are continuing their protest throughout the country. They are conducting peaceful processions and rallies and they are registering their protest with various national and international agencies.
Three major national private channels which were banned include GEO, ARYONEWORLD, and AAJ TV. From these three, heavily censored broadcast of AAJ TV have been started, whereas the other two are still off-air and even their transmission are banned from United Arab Emirates. GEO, though has said to be taken its transmission disconnected is available on Internet through many direct and proxy sites, and the few blessed ones having high-quality internet in the country can still enjoy it.
GEO television was one of those few private T.V channels which really set the national scene positively ablaze with its candid coverage of all the issues. It played a pivotal role in raising the awareness among the masses like ARYONEWORLD and other channels. Though, many a times, GEO was accused of acting as government’s B team, when it unduly inclined towards favoring the military regime like its sister publication Jung newspaper, but by and large it put up a good show.
Now their staffs are protesting nation-wide and have got the wishes and compassion of the whole nation. It has also lodged a petition in the Sindh High Court against the blackout and media curbs introduced after the imposition of emergency rule. They have challenged the ban on the telecast of independent TV channels by the government and also the fresh laws aimed at reining in the media.
The ban slapped by the government on Geo TV network and other private channels is surely against the fundamental rights. Many international news channels such as CNN and BBC World have able been taken off air. Under emergency rule, the media are barred from publishing or broadcasting material that defames Gen. Musharraf, the armed forces, or the present regime.