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Pakistani TV Ban Taliban Statements
Prime minister bars ministers from issuing statements
Muhammad Aslam Khan (aslam)     Print Article 
Published 2008-09-25 04:43 (KST)   
Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani has banned all his ministers from giving statement on political and strategic issues.

Gillani issued the direction that only Sherry Rehman, minister of information, or Akram Shaheedi, information secretary, would be entitled to issue statements in future.

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Gillani disclosed this while talking with journalists during an Iftar dinner hosted by him at Prime Minister House.

Self-Censorship by Private TV Channels

All Pakistani private TV channels have voluntarily stopped airing Taliban comments on the continued military operation in different parts of the North-West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan.

They used to air the views of the Taliban leadership critical of the government offensive.

Now all channels are focusing on reports showing the progress of the military operation against the Taliban.

According to a calculated assessment, all private channels are now following the policy of the state-run PTV while covering the military operation.

Karachi-based Geo News, the most popular private Urdu channel; Karachi-based Aaj News, the second largest private Urdu channel; Karachi-based Dawn News, the first and only English news channel have all showed the same behavior as the state-run PTV News as observed from Aug. 1 to Sept. 18.

Geo News TV was observed to have made a special multimedia presentation entitled "Situation in Tribal Areas." In this presentation, it briefed its audience at regular intervals throughout each day on the progress of the military operation.

Similarly, Dawn News and Aaj TV were also observed to have stepped up their reporting on the progress of the military operation. Their anchors were seen calling the militants "Taliban" and criticizing them for the violence. The private channels focused only on showing troop activities during the operation.
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Muhammad Aslam Khan

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