No govt step so far to restore Geo’s position
ISLAMABAD: The government and the electronic media watchdog Pemra have not yet moved to restore the Geo News transmission to the position it was on the day of the murder attempt on senior journalist Hamid Mir in Karachi. Mir was attacked on April 19.
Those acting against Geo wield so much influence that despite repeated complaints by the channel and viewers, the Pemra head office has not directed the cable operators even for once to restore the channel’s position.
Only one letter sent from the head office on May 2 to the authority’s regional managers after the channel’s complaint supports and appreciates cable operators in its opening para. Later, the government, as well as the authority, did not ask the cable operators to restore the Geo’s position to original numbers.
Some informed circles insist an appointment has been made in the authority to teach Pakistan’s biggest media group a lesson for speaking the truth and doing independent journalism.
Not only this, a national level campaign has been launched against Geo for airing a Qawali in an inappropriate way during a morning show despite a clear apology of the morning show host and by Geo as an organisation. However, the Pemra issued a notice to the Geo News for airing the Qawali despite the fact that another channel had aired the same Qawali in the same inappropriate way in its morning show.
Selective victimisation of Geo News by some institutions is very clear and while some have demanded action against Geo, no one so far has demanded action against the channel which not only aired this Qawali in an inappropriate way a few months back but also never apologised or suspended the programme.
Geo News has itself stated that if it has done anything wrong after the attack on Hamid Mir, Pemra could proceed against it under the laws and democratic values. But the inaction of the government and the authority has exposed where the real power lies.
The authority should act to restore the channel’s position as it was on the day of the attack on Hamid Mir. If the authority does so, it will be respected and will have the moral power to act against the channels whenever they do anything wrong. But, if it does not act to restore the Geo News position, it will lose its moral authority.