US avoids commenting on Geo dispute
WASHINGTON: The US State Department has said that while freedom of media is of vital importance, it will not take a position on the dispute between the Pakistani military and Geo News.
When asked to address the issue at a regular briefing, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said her department knew that Geo TV’s broadcast licence had been suspended for 15 days and that a fine had been imposed on it by the regulatory authority.
She said she had also seen reports that Geo TV had filed suit against the regulatory authority as well.
“Not going to take a position on the merits of these actions, but we have long been clear that freedom of the press, including freedom of the airwaves and safety for journalists, is of paramount importance to freedom of expression in Pakistan and everywhere else,” said the official.
Asked why she was not giving a specific answer to a specific question, Ms Harf said: “Well, it can be specific to Pakistan as well, specific certainly there and everywhere else.”
Recently, the United States had very clearly conveyed its concerns about the space of media freedom in Pakistan.