Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dubai Media City "seemed to be a sanctuary"

Gulf News
Geo and ARY One World, which have studios in Dubai Media City, were ordered off air in Pakistan during President Pervez Musharraf's emergency rule.

"We have been told by the [Dubai] Media City that our transmission will be shut down," said Imran Aslam, president of Geo News. "This is all I can say at the moment."
WAM [official news agency of UAE government] adds: The decision by the Dubai Media City to stop the transmission of two Pakistan's leading private television stations is in line with the UAE's foreign policy based on neutrality and non-interference in other's domestic affairs, said Ebrahim Al Abid, Director General of the National Media Council.
Both networks had been banned from Pakistan's cable television system -- along with other networks, including CNN and BBC -- since Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3.

This latest action prevents the two Pakistani networks from broadcasting worldwide via satellite.

"This was basically our window to the world, GEO President Imran Aslan said. "In Pakistan, we've been shut down since the 3rd."

The action was not wholly unexpected, but surprising nevertheless, Aslan said.

"We uplink from Dubai, never having had a license to uplink from Pakistan," he said. "Dubai is a media city which seemed to be a haven and a sanctuary."



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