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Pakistan: Geo now only private TV whose transmissions are blocked

BBC Monitoring

Three weeks after the declaration of a state of emergency, all but one of Pakistan's private TV networks have been permitted to resume transmissions, albeit with some restrictions.

The one exception is Geo TV, based in Dubai. All four of its channels - Geo TV, Geo News, Geo Super (sport) and Aag TV (music) - remain unavailable to cable viewers inside Pakistan.

Authorities in Dubai ordered a halt to satellite transmission of Geo News on 16 November. The channel is still broadcasting on the internet, producing a limited news service with correspondents in Pakistan reporting by telephone. Geo has reported a number of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks on its website.

Geo UK, the satellite service for viewers in Europe, is still broadcasting. However, it is only showing entertainment programmes. It has not been observed to carry news bulletins or news tickers across the bottom of the screen, as it did before the declaration of emergency. Aa! g TV has also been observed on satellite.

ARY One World, whose satellite broadcasts from Dubai had also been halted, was permitted to resume transmissions on 22 November. According to a report on the website of the Indian newspaper The Hindu, one of the conditions for allowing the resumption was the axing of the talk show "Off the record" hosted by senior journalist Kashif Abbasi.

Two other private news channels, Dawn News and Aaj TV had been allowed back on cable on 15 November. But the current affairs programme "Live with Talat", hosted by Aaj news director Talat Hussain, was one of two talk shows that was not permitted on air.

Source: BBC Monitoring research 23 Nov 07



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