(The Guardian) – When Pakistan’s largest and by far its most popular television network, Geo, was pushed off the airwaves in at least 80% of the country last month, many suspected the work of the military, though few would say it.
“First we used to have missing persons, now we have missing TV channels,” said Babar Sattar, a lawyer who regularly appears as an analyst on Geo, referring to the hundreds of Pakistanis whose disappearance has been linked to security services over the years. “Just like with missing persons, everyone knows who the culprit is but saying it out loud would get you into even more trouble.”
Earlier this month, Sattar announced that The News, a daily newspaper owned by Jang Group, the same media house that owns Geo, would not be publishing his column because it was “ordered not to touch sensitive topics”. A few days later, another popular columnist, Mosharraf Zaidi wrote that for the first time in over a decade, The News had refused to publish him too.