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Posts tagged with: GeoTV

Government thinking of releasing CJP

Breaking News on Geo tv saying that the: Government is actually thinking of ending C.J Iftikhar Chaudhry’s house arrest

This is an important development worth keeping an eye on as Nawaz Sharif has taken oath from all its candidates that they will work towards the restoration of the Nov 3 judiciary

Election Roundup (0630 PST)

The rigging observed today by many observers was not enough to hamper the voice of the people. While there is plenty of documented evidence of rigging by parties notably the Q-League and MQM this was not sufficient to save them from a crushing defeat at the hands of PML-N and PPP. Details of the rigging can be seen on:

This blog
Emergency Times

You are also encouraged in the live blog that is being hosted right now at Chapati Mystery

A quick round up of the stance of the political parties with our stance for the restoration of the judiciary and removal of Musharraf:

Parties who have taken a public stance for the restoration of the Nov 3 judiciary

  • PML-N
  • ANP

Parties who have “promised” to impeach Musharraf:

  • PML-N
  • ANP
  • PPPP

Continue reading “Election Roundup (0630 PST)” »

Media Restrictions Undermine Election: Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch issues a statement on the restriction on the media, similarly Hamid Mir also shared his concerns just a day earlier in a letter to journalists of PFUJ.

Threats and censorship against the independent media, bias in state television, and a widespread ban on live broadcasting are limiting the public’s right to information as Pakistan goes to the polls, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent curbs on the media prohibit coverage of election rallies, live call-ins, live talk shows, live coverage of protests, or any live broadcasts that could show the government in a negative light, severely restricting the right to free expression ahead of Pakistan’s election on February 18, 2008.

On November 3, 2007, President Pervez Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s constitution and declared emergency rule, curbing the media through two decrees that bar the publishing or broadcasting of “anything which defames or brings into ridicule the head of state, or members of the armed forces, or executive, legislative or judicial organ of the state.” The print and electronic media were also restrained from publishing any material likely to “jeopardize or be prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or any material that is likely to incite violence or hatred or create inter-faith disorder or be prejudicial to maintenance of law and order.” Television discussions of anything deemed “false or baseless” by the regulatory authorities were also banned. All those provisions remain in force, even though the state of emergency was lifted on December 15.
Continue reading “Media Restrictions Undermine Election: Human Rights Watch” »

Hamid Mir shares his concerns about the restricted media

Mr. Hamid Mir, a very prominent anchor of Geo TV who was banned from appearing on any TV show after the emergency shares his feelings in this letter submitted after the press conference he had on the invitation of Pakistan Federal Union Journalists . Its a must read specially if you want to understand whats going on behind the covers of the new form of Media Censorship

Dear Journalist Colleagues,

Thanks for coming to this press conference on the invitation of Pakistan Federal Union Journalists.

As you know that Musharraf regime have banned many TV anchors including me without any written charge against us. The main objective of banning us was to pressurize Pakistani media to accept a new code of conduct for print and electronic journalism. This new code was drafted just to manipulate elections. Musharraf regime started pressurizing us to accept new media laws in 2006.I was served with a notice from the government in October 2006 when I hosted a talk show on the role of intelligence agencies in politics. I responded that notice through my lawyer and took a stand that I never violated any law. Government never issued any notice to me after my response.
Continue reading “Hamid Mir shares his concerns about the restricted media” »

AAJ TV Blackballed again because of Live with Talat

Live with Talat shut downA day back around 11:30 at night on Feb 6th AAJ TV was suddenly taken off the air in the regions of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and according to AAJ it was blocked up to Chakwal 60 km away. Live with Talat was due to air a discussion with Nusrat Javeed while some sources say that the shut down could also have been due to Aaj live broadcast of Nawaz Sharif’s Lahore address in which he accused that the militants had shot down the army helicopter.

AP Reports that prior to the broadcast, Musharraf’s spokesman Rashid Quereshi had advised Aaj that it should not allow Javed to appear on any of its programs, Aslam Dogar, an assignment editor for the station.

The international media rights group Reporters Without Borders accused state-run Pakistan Television of bias against parties opposing Musharraf. The media group noted Musharraf had promised fair and free elections when Pakistanis choose a new parliament Feb. 18. “The absence of fairness in the coverage provided by the only national terrestrial broadcast channel shows that this is not yet the case,” the group said in a statement Wednesday
Continue reading “AAJ TV Blackballed again because of Live with Talat” »

How to Steal an Election Without Breaking a Sweat

This writeup was posted on the People’s Resistance network, this might be more of a general report but quite literally the upcoming elections in Pakistan have all the signs to be fully rigged. Pakistan fails on each and every condition mentioned here

From Abuja to Islamabad, autocratic regimes have become adept at manipulating “free and fair elections to stay in power. Heres how they do itand how to stop them.

Control the process

How its done: Its much easier to steal an election when there are fewer checks on executive power and no legal framework for resolving disputes. When the laws are vague, election commissions are often powerless to confront a powerful central leader. “When you have a partial constitution that doesnt lay out the details of election law properly, thats a problem, says Chris Hennemeyer, director of African programs at the election-monitoring group IFES, adding, “Its a tried-and-true technique to stack the electoral commission with your cronies.

Real-world example: Kenyas constitution invests an enormous amount of power in the executive branch. This allowed President Mwai Kibaki to create a vast system of patronage throughout the government based largely on tribal ties. The head of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Samuel Kivuitu, has recently admitted that he was pressured by the presidents office to announce results before he could verify their authenticity.

How to stop it: An independent judicial branch that is capable of arbitrating electoral disputes without partisan pressure is a must. It also helps if polls are managed by independent election commissions rather than interior ministries.
Continue reading “How to Steal an Election Without Breaking a Sweat” »

Open Letter to President of Pakistan General (Retd) Pervaiz Musharraf

An open letter to President General (Retd) Pervaiz Musharraf from Masood Sharif Khan Khattak

Dear Mr President,

The destructive events of 2007 cannot be wished away. The naked assault of your government on the judiciary, led by yourself from the front, on 09 March, 2007, triggered off a chain of events that need not be recounted. In short, Pakistan has been devastated all through 2007.

Pakistan lost an internationally recognised political and intellectual personality, namely, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on 27 December, 2007, to a murderous gun and bomb attack. Pakistan was reduced to paralysis in the aftermath of the tragic manner in which Pakistans most courageous political leader lost her life. The story does not end here. The adverse effects of this tragedy will continue to unfold in the days, months and years to come. I pray that ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY Blesses the soul of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto eternal peace of heavens. Amen.

The deplorable law and order situation in the country, in general, and the mishandling of the situation in our erstwhile peaceful tribal areas and other parts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) only add to the widespread belief in the country that you and your government has now become a huge part of the problem and is certainly not equal to the task of finding a solution to the gigantic problems faced by Pakistan. These problems have gained unimaginable dimensions through the years of your rule. While the Army and the paramilitary is deployed to fight in many parts of NWFP the police and the rangers etc are busy beating up the civil society in the city streets. Pakistan and Pakistanis are no longer at peace with each other.
Continue reading “Open Letter to President of Pakistan General (Retd) Pervaiz Musharraf” »

RSF: Government lifts cable ban on Geo TV but makes it remove some programmes

Reporters Without Borders issues a press statement

Reporters Without Borders hails the lifting of a government ban on cable TV distribution of the privately-owned TV channel Geo News but deplores the fact that President Pervez Musharraf made it conditional on the suppression of some its programmes.

“Geo News has made major contribution to improving Pakistanis’ access to independent news since 2002 and should never have been banned,” the press freedom organisation said. “The ban, which lasted more than 10 weeks, was aimed at silencing outspoken reporters and commentators and investigative reports that were often damning for the authorities.”

Reporters Without Borders added: “It is regrettable that the government insisted on the withdrawal of certain programmes. This constitutes yet further evidence that censorship is unfortunately still the rule just a few weeks before the parliamentary elections scheduled for 18 February.”
Continue reading “RSF: Government lifts cable ban on Geo TV but makes it remove some programmes” »

Geo back on air in Pakistan

After 77 days of oppressive bulldozing by the Government, Geo News is back on air today as of 6 pm PST. Geo held out longer than any other TV channel and suffered huge losses due to the emergency/martial law declared by Musharraf on November 3rd.

Bear in mind the black PEMRA laws are still in force. A friend in People’s Resistance sent this quote which aptly describes the situation on freedom of expression in the country:

“There is no subjugation so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom for in that way one captures volition itself.”

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Geo, like other news channels, will most likely tread very carefully as it navigates through these laws and brings news and analysis to us. We’ll have to wait and see how the channel fares.

All the best to Geo and hoping it is able to maintain its independence.

Daughters of Asma Jehangir Assaulted

A statement has just be issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission calling attention to the assault on the daughters of Asma Jehangir, the leading Human Rights Activist in Pakistan where she alleges that her daughters assaulted and illegally held for several hours along with their friends by armed persons of the Pakistan Muslim League Q.

Daughters of Asma Jehangir assaulted and threatened by gunmen of the ruling party

The two daughters of Ms. Asma Jehangir, a well known lawyer, human rights activist and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of religion or belief, were assaulted and illegally held for several hours along with their friends by armed persons of the Pakistan Muslim League Q (PML-Q); they were beaten severely and threatened to be killed. One of the girls was pushed into a room and this was only prevented due to the intervention of their mother. Ms. Asma. Ms. Asma herself was also threatened by the gunmen who used very filthy language against her. When police were called to the scene they took the side of the gunmen who claimed to be police officers. However, only two out of this group were policemen and the 20 other gunmen belonged to the PML-Q.

This incident happened at 1.30am when Ms. Muneeza Jehangir, Asma¡¦s eldest daughter along with her younger sister Ms. Sulema Jehangir and other friends, were making a video clip for her television channel, the Geo TV. She was filming the ripped posters and banners of the political parties in Lahore city, Punjab province, after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former premier who was killed on December 27.
Continue reading “Daughters of Asma Jehangir Assaulted” »

Open letter to BB: Why I left PPP

A lengthy but interesting letter shared on the Emergency Time Mailing List, worth reading to understand the frustrations faced by a PPP supporter

Dear Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Assalam alaikum.

After resigning from the basic membership of the Pakistan Peoples Party on 27 Nov, 2007, I am writing this letter to you elaborating my views, as a common Pakistani, on some burning issues confronting Pakistan today and how these issues, in my opinion, need your attention as a national political leader. Keeping my past association with the PPP, and with you, I assumed that I do have the privilege to write this letter, irrespective of how variant my views maybe with the current stance/political posture of the PPP.

This letter will also be sent to all those who received my email addressed to you when I tendered my resignation on 27 Nov, 2007. Thus, this letter is an open letter which I am constrained to write because of the numerous emails and phone calls that I received in response to my resignation from the basic membership of the PPP. All those Emails and phone calls urged me to state the reasons that forced me to resign from the PPP. Every one of them said that as Pakistanis they had a right to know, especially so, in the given political crisis prevalent in the country. Respecting their viewpoint I had to make this letter an open letter.
Continue reading “Open letter to BB: Why I left PPP” »

PFUJ to protest on International Human Rights Day

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), will “protest” on the International Human Rights Day, on Monday, December 10, saying continued curbs on media, ban on GEO, Royal tv and FM-99, have not only threatened the employment of over 5,000 newspapers employees but also the freedom of expression in the country and general elections without free media would be farce.

PFUJ, the representative body of the journalists urged the government to life the ban on GEO, Royal and FM-99, withdraw the amendments in the Registration of Printing and Publication Ordinance, RPPO, 2002 and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, PEMRA.

“Journalists in Pakistan have been deprived from their basic fundamental rights as well as economic rights,” it said.

PFUJ’s affiliated bodies will “protest,” by holding seminars, demonstrations and rallied the International Human Rights Day.
” If government has any case against GEO, Royal and the two FMs or has complaint against any newspaper they must come out in public and move to the court instead of isolating them and refusing to withdraw the ban,” PFUJ said.
Continue reading “PFUJ to protest on International Human Rights Day” »

Vigil for Media Freedom, against PEMRA Ordinances

media-solidarity-handprinted-banner-placards-at-kpc-dec8-07.jpgFor the third consecutive Saturday, the People’s Resistance held a vigil at the Karachi Press Club as part of the ongoing protest against restrictions on media through the Pemra Ordinance 2007, the forced ban on shows, presenters, channels and radio programmes. While some media companies have been forced to conform to restrictions and demands, others continue to resist government pressure at great cost.

FM 103 was recently restored after a month but all channels of Geo TV continue to be blocked in Pakistan and the Sindh High Court dismissed as ‘non-maintanable under the PCO’ Geo’s petition to allow at least its non-news channels back on air. Royal TV, closed along with the other channels on Nov 3 is also yet to be restored.

solidarity-for-the-media-at-kpc-dec8-07.jpgThe People’s Resistance stands with the journalists in their ongoing struggle for media freedom against all irritants, including recent amendments in PEMRA ordinance and RPPO, and restrictions on private TV channels and on their editorial content.

Citizens were invited to express their peaceful defiance and join journalists to individually light candles symbolic of the human freedom of thought and expression in the darkness imposed by the martial law-emergency. Participants of the vigil, including children, stamped their hand-prints on a white banner, symbolic of their support and salute to the organizations, journalists, writers, and staff who are standing for freedom of expression.

Geo Back on Air, but local cable network still Blocking the transmission

Reports are coming in that the Dubai Media City had agreed to lift ban on the broadcasts from the midnight of 29th November. However the ban inside Pakistan, through the cable systems continues.

Geo had earlier moved the Sindh High Court where the Pakistani government took the position that they are not aware of any ban and may be the UAE government has imposed the ban. On 28th Nov, an unknown lawyer filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the new Media Ordinance XV of 2007 and on 29th Sindh High Court has deferred the matter under consideration till such time that Supreme court can decide the matter. It is believed that the lawyer who has moved the Supreme court is a close confidant of the Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum and the purpose of the petition is only to buy more time or to extract a decision from the new Supreme Court to legitimize the new Media Ordinance 2007– commonly referred to in the press as the 14 page Code of Conduct.

Moeed Pirzada
GEO TV, Karachi

APDM Boycotts Elections

Reports are coming in that APDM has resolved to boycott the elections – this is a good move on behalf of the opposition and must be hailed widely. The pressure will now be on Musharraf to somehow try to salvage the his notion of Free and Fair elections. It must be remembered that a proper democracy is only possible under a free and independent judiciary in Pakistan.

At the same time it is sad to see that the US Government still wants to play an influential part in supporting Musharraf and his notion of democracy, I quote a statement appearing on the Geo.tv website ‘The White House on Thursday called on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to lift state of emergency “as soon as possible” to pave the way for free and fair parliamentary elections in January’ I wonder how they expect it to happen when Pakistan has been raped clean of it judiciary simply because one person could not tolerate a decision against him