Leader of cable operators speaks of threats to close Geo
LAHORE: Hearing a petition application filed by private cable operators seeking directions for their security against serious threats by police and other officials, the Lahore High Court on Wednesday again sought replies from the Ministry of Information, Pemra and the IG Punjab. Khalid Araen, president of Cable Association, filed a petition and said the police and executive officials were hurling threats at cable operators in different parts of the province.
The respondents had been threatening to discontinue the transmission of the Geo channel. The petitioner said the lives and business of people attached to cable operating were at risk. He prayed to the court to direct the authorities concerned to stop police and other officials for threatening them.
After hearing the arguments of the petitioner, Justice Shahid Waheed of the LHC issued notices to the respondents and adjourned proceedings for two weeks. The Geo TV lawyer stated before court the cable operators were violating the Supreme Court orders by not telecasting the Geo News. Imran Ehsan adds: Talking to the daily Jang, Khalid said: “We want to see the Geo TV on air, but some elements are pressurising us to close it.” He said on the one side, the police and Pemra were asking them to keep the Geo TV on air and, on the other, the particular elements were exerting extra pressure on them to close it. The cable operators were facing torture and threats all over the country. He said: “We are opposing the closure of the Geo TV. I want to convey a message to the daily Jang administration that we must not be character assassinated. We are telecasting the Geo after putting our lives at stake, and want to keep it going. We have no agenda. Also we are not working on anybody’s agenda. We strongly condemn an attack on Zafar Aheer, burning of daily Jang copies and blocking of Jang Group’s other publications’ access to the market. We have submitted applications to the IGs of the four provinces, but found no reply. It is for this very reason that our business worth billions is at stake.” Meanwhile, a Jang Group spokesman says that cable operators’ leader Khalid Araen had adopted a similar stance in the past and he was admonished by the Supreme Court at that time. The next day everything was set right. He was asked by the court whether he had reported to the police about these threats. The same question was being posed to him today that why he did not report such threats to police, the spokesman said adding that Khalid Araen ought to speak the truth.