Television news channels go off air in Karachi for 6 hours
Transmission of several television news channels went off air for about six hours on afternoon of Saturday October 25, 2014 in Karachi and the other part of the Sindh province after threats were received by unidentified men on telephone to some cable operators.
Without naming any political party, the Cable Operators Association President Khalid Arain said they were threatened by a political party to suspend the transmission of these channels and they had no other option but to comply with. According to Daily “The Nation” Arain said this party wanted to shut the channels’ transmissions as they did not give due coverage to their recent event. “They threatened to set our systems on fire,” he said.
One faction of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) however put the blame Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the largest political party of urban Sindh province and asked the party to seek apology for this illegal act within 24 hours. The PFUJ press release said if MQM failed to apologize, press clubs and media organisations will hold protest demonstrations against it.
PFUJ President Muhammad Afzal Butt and its General Secretary Khursheed Abbasi warned that if MQM failed to apologize, the journalist fraternity will not only boycott the programs arranged by MQM but will stage protests outside venues of these ceremonies as well.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Iman Memon strongly condemned the forced closure of news channels. He said the government would not allow anyone to make media hostage through verbal threats or at gun-point.
Pakistan Press Foundation