News / Asia

Pakistan Military Wants TV Station Shut Down

A Pakistani photographer takes photos of a bullet-riddled car belonging to journalist Hamid Mir parked at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, April 19, 2014.
A Pakistani photographer takes photos of a bullet-riddled car belonging to journalist Hamid Mir parked at a local hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, April 19, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
Pakistan’s Defense Ministry has asked the government's media regulator to shut down a leading television news channel for airing “false and scandalous” allegations that the country’s spy agency was behind the shooting of one of its prominent anchors.
 
The controversy erupted shortly after gunmen wounded Hamid Mir, a popular talk show host for the private Geo News channel. Mir was being driven to the studio in Karachi when he was attacked last Saturday. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and is now recovering in a hospital in the southern port city.
 
Soon after, Mir’s brother, Amir Mir, appeared on the television station and accused the chief of military-run Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, of orchestrating an assassination attempt. Talat Hussain, a columnist and political commentator, said there was nothing wrong with making such an allegation.
 
“But then what happened was that analysts who were working with Geo, their important news-position holders, their anchorpersons all started to rub [in] this point almost as if the ISI chief has been proven to be guilty and this went on for another 24 hours,” said Hussain.
 
The military denies the allegations, terming them regrettable and misleading. Late Tuesday it submitted a complaint through the Defense Ministry asking the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority to cancel Geo’s broadcasting license and take it off the air. The complaint accuses the TV station of “furthering [an] anti-Pakistan agenda.” 
 
But the action has worried press freedom advocates such as New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Its Asia program coordinator, Bob Dietz, said the Pakistani media regulator has the authority to shut down broadcasters on such complaints and it has done so under previous administrations. 
 
“If there are any mistakes that were made, and I am not much sure there were at all, these can be resolved. But for any arm of the government to start shutting down broadcasters or closing down newspapers I think it is just way overwrought. In not just in Pakistani media -- but in most countries’ media there is a lot of leeway given to the military and to the intelligence agencies but none of them are above criticism," said Dietz.
 
While conducting his prime time “Capital Talk” show, Mir has often criticized the military and the spy agency of abusing their authority.
 
There are reports that Mir sent a video message to the CPJ in which he accuses the ISI chief of planning to kill him. Dietz said his organization has no knowledge of a video.
  
“We don’t have it, we never got it and as far as we can tell it was never sent,” said Dietz.
 
The media regulator says it has received the defense ministry's complaint and will deal with it under the law. The regulator also says Geo will have an opportunity to explain its point of view.
 
There are no claims of responsibility for the attack on Mir, although authorities recently informed him and a number of other news anchors on other private TV channels that they could be on targeted by the Pakistani Taliban.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
April 23, 2014 10:15 PM
ISI played a dirty game against Pakistan.How much ISI is getting as fringe benefits from Poor Pakistani tax money and what is returning a big gape.ISI created Terrorist Taliban and still supporting Terrorist Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. ISI created so many Uneducated Religious Party so there is no political power in Pakistan. ISI suppose to build Pakistan and its Acts against Pakistan by supporting Terroirist group. These Terrorist Group killed so many Innocent Pakistani Doctors,Advocates,Professor and so many educated and business personalities but not a single killer hange or punish. Even a 25 years of comman Pakistani knows very well who is killer of so many Pakistani, nos now more than TEN THOUSANDS.Why ISI did not speak loudly against Pakistani cream killer. ISI have very narrow interest for them self. If Pakistan is on world map then ISI will be there.So Please think intelligently and save Pakistan from TOTAL DESTRUCTION.

by: Abbas from: UK
April 23, 2014 1:51 PM
The army has banned IMC from all its institutions, whereas the govt had asked PEMRA to investigate the matter.Can nawaz's govt still claim that the army and govt are on the same page? This is a clear message for nawaz, the army is not on the same page as his govt! Army has by passed the govt, and we will soon be hearing a cock and bull story from nisar and pervez.
In Response

by: Seerat Sheikh from: NY
April 23, 2014 4:01 PM
National Interest comes first what ever it takes how many channels and how many men you can loose but for your country's security. When we talk about our National Institution we as a nation are ready to pay whatever it takes and whoever it could be. We love Pakistan and remain ever with Pakistani Army what ever it takes.

by: Abdullah Abbas from: Islamabad
April 23, 2014 9:53 AM
Courts are the Right forum to probe any terrorist act not a TV. GEO news has intentionally aired such baseless allegations about ISI is behind the Attack. Complaint for the shut down is right in terms of Law. We Pakistanis appreciate it.

by: Majid
April 23, 2014 9:51 AM
Good atempt

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More