Geo News International has gone live in the UK on Sky Digital despite being forced off air last Friday over the emergency rule in Pakistan.
The UAE government admitted over the weekend that it had switched off signals of Geo News International and ARY One World from Dubai in line with the “broad principles of the country�۪s foreign policy”.
Geo News International and ARY One World were one of few Pakistani broadcasters that had ceased normal programming in favour of rolling news bulletins on the emergency state of Pakistan.
The Dubai Media City statement said, “As an entity within the UAE, Dubai Media City would also observe the broad principles of the country�۪s foreign policy and prevent the broadcast of news and material that would undermine those principles. Geo TV and ARY Digital are respected business partners in Dubai Media City for several years. Our relationship with them has been strong and friendly.
“We are in discussion with them with regard to the broadcast of their news components and we are confident we will resolve this matter in the best way possible to protect their interests and those of the UAE.”
The Daily Times paper has reported that the South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) and South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) have resented pulling the two channels off air and asked President General Pervez Musharraf and the emir of the United Arab Emirates to allow the two stations to resume broadcasting.
“This is outrageous that having silenced Geo TV and ARY One World in Pakistan, General Musharraf has now pressured the Dubai authorities to suspend the two stations,” said SAMC Chairman N Ram, Secretary General Najam Sethi, Media Commission Pakistan Chairman IA Rehman, SAFMA President Laxman Gunesekera and Secretary General Imtiaz Alam in a joint statement.
Geo News International can be found on Sky Digital EPG 825. The channel is currently broadcasting minus live news outputs. A Geo UK spokesman told BizAsia.co.uk that it is hoping to resume with live news bulletins “within days”.