Ban on Geo in AJK lifted
ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Minister for Information Sardar Abid Hussain handed over the copy of notification regarding lifting of ban on Geo News transmission to Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Afzal Butt at National Press Club on Wednesday.
The notification to lift the ban on the transmission of Geo News was issued by AJK government on June 29, 2015.The ban on Geo News was imposed after a complaint that it mistakenly showed Pakistan’s map excluding Jammu and Kashmir in its programme.
When the AJK government imposed ban on the transmission of Geo News, PFUJ constituted a 3-member committee including PFUJ President Afzal Butt, PFUJ General Secretary Khursheed Abbasi and Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) General Secretary Bilal Dar to review the issue.
The committee visited offices of the press clubs and journalist associations in AJK and took them into confidence before staging boycott of the budget speech in the AJK Assembly.The AJK government formed 2-member committee including AJK Information Minister Sardar Abid Hussain and Adviser to the AJK PM Murtaza Durrani— to negotiate with PFUJ and after their assurance, the journalists ended their boycott of the budget session.
Then another four-member committee was formed by the AJK government to make recommendations regarding ban on the transmission of the Geo News. The committee comprised AJK Information Minister Sardar Abid Hussain, Adviser to the AJK PM Murtaza Durrani, Muzaffarabad Press Club President Sardar Zulfiqar and Central Union of Journalists President Asif Raza Mir.
When the committee held its last meeting, it also invited members of the committee earlier constituted by PFUJ. All of them approved recommendations that were presented to AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed.
Later, a delegation of PFUJ visited the AJK prime minister’s office who ordered to issue notification lifting ban on the transmission of the Geo News.Meanwhile, a meeting was held between members of the journalist associations and the AJK ministers at NPC where the journalists thanked the AJK government for resolving the issue.
Speaking on the occasion, PJUJ President Afzal Butt said that the journalists always protected the national interests and they would continue to do it for the sake of the country and its people as well.
“When you work in media, you have to work in the face of extreme pressure that is why sometimes the journalists commit mistakes. But no one should start leveling allegations on the basis of any mistake because it can also happen with anyone else,” he said.
RIUJ General Secretary Bilal Dar said that it was encouraging to see that the AJK government had restored the transmission of Geo News because the people wanted to watch this channel that always helped protect the interests of Pakistan.