|Journalist bodies protest ban on ARY NEWS|
09 August 2010
KARACHI: Journalist organizations and the civil society are staging protest demonstrations across the country against the ban on ARY NEWS transmission and other TV channels.
The telecast of ARY News was shut down in Karachi and other cities of Pakistan on the government pressure after the news channel reported a "shoe attack" on President Asif Ali Zardari during an address in Birmingham on Saturday.
Nationwide protests against the broadcast ban are underway, including a rally today led by the Karachi Union of Journalists.
The journalist organizations would hold protest demonstrations in Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and other parts of the county at the respective press clubs.
Also, members of the civil society and several political organizations will stage the anti-people move.
The cable operators across the country are being threatened to keep off-air the channels transmission, whose news coverage was providing up-to-date information about the ongoing relief activates in the wake of worst ever flood in the country.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Monday demanded immediate resumption of the ARY NEWS broadcasts.
According to reports, threats to cable operators were issued from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party’s Bilawal House to press them for shut down of ARY News transmissions.
Many cable operators who have refused to comply with such directives from Bilawal House were issued threats of dire consequences.
The operators have informed Governor of Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad about the threats and urged for protection.
The channel has decided to challenge the government step in Supreme Court.
Dr. Shahid Masood, President of ARY Digital Network, has said, "We have no trust over any state institution." He has appealed Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry to take notice of the closure of the transmissions of the channel and attack on cable operators.
He said the FIR will be registered against the top government officials, if the cable operators suffered any harm.
On the other hand, General Secretary, PPP Sindh, Taj Haider on Sunday rejected the allegations against the government and the PPP about placing curbs on the transmission.
In a statement, Haider said the PPP has always raised voice for freedom of the media and freedom of media is a part of policy of his party.
Strongly condemning the alleged stoppage of the transmissions of two private television channels, "Geo and ARY", Taj Haider said the PPP has no negative policy about the media and it will never have it.
Taj Haider said the government and the activists of his party have not links with alleged stoppage of the transmissions of two private television channels.
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