ISLAMABAD: A private news network was taken off air late Wednesday night when it was airing some anti-government comments in one of its talk shows. It is for the second time that such action has been taken in Pakistan, despite assurances by President Pervez Musharraf to his allies that he would uphold media freedom.
According to a network official, the AAJ network that was taken off air is known for its independent approach. AAJ television suddenly vanished from cable networks in Islamabad and several other cities as it aired a popular politics and current affairs talk show, Islamabad bureau chief for the network said. ”We were not informed by any authority, nor did they warn us before this unannounced blackout,” he said.
Musharraf had compelled some private news channels to shut down after he imposed Emergency rule in November. Only those networks that signed a code of conduct under harsh media laws were allowed to operate again.
The Emergency rule was lifted in December, but many news channels remained off air for weeks and months. No government official was immediately available to comment on the fresh restrictions on AAJ broadcasts.-SANA