Pakistan's opposition party boycotts top TV channel

Khan berated Geo for launching a “negative“ campaign against the country’s premier spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by associating it in a murder attempt on legendary journalist Hamid Mir who was attacked on April 19 in the southern port city of Karachi.

Pakistan's opposition party boycotts top TV channel

World Bulletin / News Desk

The cricketer-turned politician, Imran Khan announced on Friday his boycott of Pakistan’s top TV channel Geo which has been taken under the control of the country’s military when the channel accused them of taking part in an attack on a famous TV anchor.

Khan, cricketer and leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) whose party secured the second highest number of votes in May 2013 elections and rules the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said that Geo TV was toeing “a foreign agenda with huge foreign funding.”

“Not only are the Geo and Jang (largest Urdu daily of Pakistan from the same group) receiving huge foreign funds, but they are also involved in influencing the May 2013 general elections in favor of Pakistan Muslim League (PML)”, Mr Khan said, citing Geo’s coverage and surveys in favor of ruling PML(N) of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is serving for the third term as premier.

“We announce that our party will not participate in any program of Geo TV because we have got all proof vis-à-vis foreign funding, and its involvement in election rigging”, Khan said.

“How ironic it is that on the one hand Geo is launching Amn ki asha (a desire for peace) campaign for boosting friendship with India but it wants jang ke Asha (desire for war) in its own country”, he said referring to various talk shows aired by Geo opposing ongoing peace talks with the Taliban to end an 11-year long militancy in the country.

Khan berated Geo for launching a “negative“ campaign against the country’s premier spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by associating it in a murder attempt on legendary journalist Hamid Mir who was attacked on April 19 in the southern port city of Karachi. He said the TV channel’s “ hasty” and “irresponsible” attitude supported the interests of India, and other countries that availed all opportunities to smear the ISI.

Mir, who hosts a popular talk show “Capital Talk” on Geo TV, was on his way to his office after he landed at Karachi airport from Islamabad when he was attacked. Mir who received six bullets, was discharged from the hospital three days ago as the doctors say he is in a stable condition and recovering well.

According to Geo TV, Mir a few weeks ago in a written statement informed the channel management that if he was ever attacked, the powerful spy agency ISI, and its chief Lt General Zaheer ul Islam would be responsible for it. The Pakistan Army, and the ISI outrightly rejected Mir’s allegations.

The Geo management says its channel has been blocked in all the cantonment (military station areas) of the country. In April, the defence ministry filed a case against the channel which is still pending.

Mir who rose to fame after interviewing slain Al Qaeda Chief Osama bin Laden in 2002 in Afghanistan, escaped a life attempt in 2011 when a bomb was recovered from his car.

This was the second attack on TV anchors in the last month. Raza Rumi, another legendary anchor who works for Express TV was shot and injured in the northeastern Lahore city in March.

According to Reporters Sans Borders, Pakistan is one of the three most dangerous countries for journalists with 91 journalists losing their lives within the last decade. 

Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2014, 17:38
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