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April 5, 2020

Another attack on Jang/Geo Group in the offing?

Top Story

April 5, 2020

ISLAMABAD: After establishing a controversial case against the Jang-Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and arresting him, preparations have been made for another attack on the largest media group of the country.

In a latest development as part of steps to gag the voice of independent media, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir government has contacted the federal government for action against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a five-year-old case which has already been settled and the Geo News was punished in the shape of its closure at that time.

In a Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ aired on June 5, 2015, a map of Pakistan was shown which was taken from the official website of the Survey of Pakistan. The map did not show Kashmir as part of Pakistan. After this inadvertent mistake, a specific sector and ARY News started a malicious campaign against Geo News. Host Shahzeb Khanzada explained the whole situation in this programme and clarified things. Shahzeb Khanzada said there was some misunderstanding about the map and it was ensured that the same map is not shown in the repeat telecast of the programme. “Despite explanation, some quarters blew this issue out of proportion and a media campaign was launched against Jang-Geo Group. Even our patriotism was questioned. I will like to clear the whole thing for the patriotic people of Pakistan who were hurt with this controversial map on my behalf and the behalf of my team,” he had said in the explanation.

Meanwhile, Pemra also came into action and sought explanation from Geo News and blocked Geo transmission in AJK. Pemra disposed of the whole matter under the ambit of the law. However, at the same time, an FIR was lodged against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Shahzeb Khanzada in a police station in Rawalakot. Sources said a new campaign against Jang-Geo Group will be initiated under the light of the said FIR. Now the question arises that when Pemra disposed of the case in 2015 then how an FIR on the case was lodged in Azad Kashmir and why the Geo News transmission was blocked despite an explanation. The question also arises as to why Geo News was damaged financially and why Pemra acted against Geo News despite explanation. And last but not the least, why the Geo News administration was not informed about lodging of the case.

It may be mentioned that The News reporter Umar Cheema in a recent story had indicated that after failing to implicate Editor-in-Chief of Geo-Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in the 34-year old land case, now efforts are afoot to fabricate new cases, but the search ends at those which have already been concluded after allegations were found unfounded. In this context, a source privy to the development said that different government departments have been asked to share information, if they have any, with NAB Lahore office.