Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Super Bull Gives You Wings (Updated)

First things first: apologies to all for the disappearing act. (For those who actually noticed, a silent note of appreciation.) Had been away for a rather long stretch of time and while I was able to follow developments back home in an irregular fashion, simply did not have the time or access to all the information to put a post up (the perils of work work). And much has happened in the media while I have been away, which I hope to get round to in a one-by-one fashion. In particular, there are some interesting developments brewing on the electronic media front.

However, I first want to take up the issue which apparently threatens the very survival of humanity itself. Yes, I am referring to the shut down of Geo's sports channel Geo Super and it's music and entertainment channel Aag. To hear Geo talk about it, it is nothing less than the rule of tyranny, the deprivation of Pakistanis of all that is good and worth living for, and the wiping out from people's lives of all information, healthy physical activity and freedom of expression. They now have a 'count-up' on Geo News, ala the 2007 'Emergency', of the exact number of days, hours, minutes and seconds that Pakistanis have been flung into darkness, and even have begun a campaign to get the citizens of Pakistan to grant them a "public license" to resume broadcast (whatever that may be). Geo Super and Aag logos with a cross across them are now regular fixtures on their other two channels (Geo News and Geo Entertainment) and a sidebar regularly updates with the latest maulvi, sportsman, politician, actor, singer or other celebrity to condemn the snatching away of the people's rights.

But before this came to pass the Jang Group (which owns Geo) also used its newspapers - the widely read Jang and the not-so-widely-read The News - to try and browbeat the authorities by running regular front-page stories about the malafide intentions of the government and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). On the day - April 7 - that Dawn's lead story was about a US Congressional report severely critical of Pakistan and the Express Tribune's and Pakistan Today's lead stories were about the removal from his ministership of Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza (the PPP apparently giving in to its ally the MQM's demands), Jang and The News' main leads were about the government having shut Geo Super down. So much for unbiased handling of news priorities. This was, of course, in addition to the wall-to-wall coverage that Geo News had begun to provide on the 'event' from a day before, with the news taking pride of place as the top news headline.

Messages of condemnation have come pouring in from as far afield as Reporters Without Borders and as close to home as the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists - which bizarrely dubbed the issue one of "human rights" - even as the Jang Group has tried to paint the issue as one of governmental victimization. To make matters worse, PEMRA has until yesterday (when it finally placed ads in some papers) been unable to present a clear defence of its actions or explain the exact realities from its point of view.


 The PEMRA ad in Express Tribune and other papers on April 11


There is so much rhetorical chaff involved from both sides that it is important to separate out the facts of the case, which I will attempt to do here.

Let us first examine the claims of Geo itself. The Jang Group claims (if one goes by the news stories on its news channel and print publications) that Geo Super and Aag have been shut down because:

1) It was promoting sports and healthy entertainment in Pakistan
2) It was doing so selflessly with no thought to losses incurred
3) The government wants to hit the Jang Group financially because of its relentless criticism of the government

In addition, the Jang Group claims:

4) Geo Super was/is Pakistan's first and only sports channel
5) Aag was shut down as an act of further vengeance on the part of the government
6) Pakistani's have been deprived of sports, sports news and healthy entertainment because of these shut-downs

Let us first look at the latter claims (4-6).

With respect to 4):

The claim that Geo Super was/is Pakistan's first and only sports channel is technically patently false. It is registered in Dubai and is as Pakistani under that criteria as e.g. Ten Sports or Star Sports or Star ESPN, all of which broadcast also to Pakistan under legally obtained "landing rights" or permission to distribute. In fact, it is because Geo Super is registered as a foreign channel that it obtained local landing rights for distribution within Pakistan when it began broadcasting. The reason it is registered in Dubai could well be in order to prevent Pakistani authorities from having a look at its revenues and to avoid tax/ license fee obligations here, though there is another reason which I will just come to. Yes, it does employ more Pakistanis than the other channels and has covered Pakistani domestic sports more than the other sports channels but nothing more than that. It has no local license.

Furthermore, under PEMRA's current rules to prevent monopolies (Clause 13, PEMRA Rules 2009), no corporate entity can hold more than four channel licenses. The Jang Group already has four channel licenses - for Geo News, Geo Entertainment, Aag and Geo English (which was never launched). Unless those rules are changed, the Jang Group must give up one of their licenses to apply for one for Geo Super, which it apparently seems unwilling to do. Also under PEMRA rules, any local licensee for a satellite channel must declare its revenues and give a percentage of them to PEMRA as annual license fees. In the case of a sports channel such as Geo Super the annual fee would come to Rs. 700,000/- + 7.5% of the annual gross advertisement revenue as per audited accounts. (See Schedule A, Table-1). (As an aside, let me just also point out that from my understanding, PEMRA has no system in place to verify if the revenue claims of any channel are actually correct or not, or to challenge an audit. It simply takes the channel's word on this, which given the way most businesses operate in Pakistan and advertising receipts and expenses are juggled, almost surely means that revenues are under-reported in all cases.)

Incidentally, Geo Super had been in default of even the landing rights fees (Rs. 300,000 + 5% of gross advertising revenues as per audited accounts) for the past four years, a matter which may have been sorted out after the intervention of the courts prior to the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC), when Geo asked the courts to stop PEMRA from taking it off air during the CWC even though its 5-year license was expiring. I will deal with this further on in this post.


With respect to 5):

According to PEMRA, Aag was ordered shut down because after the stoppage of Geo Super broadcasts (we will come to this too), the Jang Group began to show the Indian Premier League cricket fixtures on Aag, which was a violation of its licensing terms. Aag TV has a license for entertainment programming, not sports. Under the licensing rules, no channel can switch its programming genre without a fresh application for a new license. The Jang Group had also violated this provision during the CWC by showing cricket matches on Aag, for which it had already been issued show-cause notices. However, partly out of deference to the Supreme Court's orders allowing the CWC to proceed without hindrance and partly out of the fear of a public backlash, PEMRA had not taken any drastic action in the matter then. In effect, however, Aag had violated the PEMRA Ordinance of 2002.


With respect to 6):

This claim is also demonstrably false since neither has sports news been affected on news channels, nor has sporting or entertainment activity come to a halt because of a sports channel shutting down and Aag being taken off air. In addition, there are still other sports channels and entertainment and music channels being broadcast.

Now let's come to the Jang Group's claims 1)-3) about why Geo Super has shut down. First of all, no sane individual would be willing to accept claim 1), that the government's reasons for stopping Geo Super were because of its antipathy for either sports or entertainment activities. That the Jang Group would even make such a claim says more about its idea of the intelligence and gullibility of its viewers / readers than anything else.

As for claim 2), no one who has endured the infuriating barrage of advertising on Geo Super during a cricket match (a minimum of three ads between each over, more during fall of wickets) could possibly ever believe that the Jang Group's motivations for running a sports channel were selfless. Indeed, nobody could ever believe that any commercial broadcaster would be in the business to only serve viewers interests and not to make money. Let's not be absurd. Yes, Geo Super would not have made the killing it makes broadcasting cricket in other sports, but its revenues from cricket broadcasts (which form the majority of its programming in any case) easily outweigh the costs of non-cricket broadcasts. Despite the hefty price of obtaining exclusive rights for the CWC for example, Geo Super was in the game because it made money not because it lost money. Keep in mind also that the way the Jang Group (and other media houses with multiple channels and publications) marketing operates, advertisers often are lured with bundled packages of advertising across all their channels and publications, which also subsidizes programming with lesser viewership. If the Jang Group really wants to insist on its loss-making claims, perhaps it should be asked to open its Dubai-based account books for public scrutiny. Somehow I don't think this will ever come to pass.

We can thus safely dismiss the Jang Group's claims 1), 2), 4), 5) and 6) as being patently false. The only claim that may have merit is claim 3), i.e. that PEMRA's actions constitute an attempt by the government to hit the Jang Group financially for its hard line against the government. In fact, this is almost surely true. But before we come to this, one final critical point needs to be cleared up:

Has the government through PEMRA actually shut Geo Super down?


Screen shot of Geo Super channel on cable

Almost everyone would have seen this image where Geo Super used to be. Does this mean PEMRA has pulled Geo Super off air? That's what the Jang Group would have you believe. But think about something: if the channel were actually blocked, why would you be able to see this image? Remember when Geo and other news channels were pulled off air during the 2007 'Emergency'? The screens actually went blank. In fact, what this constant image indicates is that Geo Super is still broadcasting and being distributed on cable and satellite dishes. It is just that the channel itself is not running any programming.

Now let me share with you what has actually happened, which Geo will never tell you and which PEMRA is too idiotic to explain properly. Basically, in contravention of its status as a foreign channel with landing rights in Pakistan, Geo Super had been secretively uplinking from Pakistan. Under the law, Geo Super could only regularly uplink to satellite from abroad (Dubai or wherever it chose). When this uplink facility violation was discovered, PEMRA basically shut that operation down. This does not mean that Geo Super cannot broadcast its programmes by uplinking from abroad, as it was supposed to be doing in the first place. PEMRA has pointed out in its ad yesterday that Geo Super still has landing rights and is free to distribute its programmes via cable. In effect, therefore it is Geo Super that has shut itself off.

This is also why Geo Super had scrambled to apply for a "temporary uplinking license" from PEMRA on April 4, a facility that is allowed under the rules for specific events such as a major sporting competition taking place within the country. PEMRA, in perfectly legally defensible fashion, asked Geo Super to specify the event it wanted to cover. Since Geo Super could not name any, PEMRA was within its rights to refuse, which they apparently have still not technically done. The Jang Group's claims of unfair victimization, at least on the basis of this alleged refusal, are merely attempts at a smokescreen.

It is also important to recall exactly what happened during the court case that the Jang Group brought against PEMRA before the CWC since Geo has claimed on numerous occasions that PEMRA and the government are in violation of the court's orders. Basically, just before the CWC, PEMRA had reminded Geo Super that its landing rights permission for 5 years was about to expire at the end of February and that it had not, as per PEMRA Rules, reapplied for permissions six months earlier. This would have meant that Geo Super would have had to go off air within Pakistan during the CWC. It approached the courts and pleaded with them for a stay on PEMRA taking any action against it as well as to ensure that PEMRA forbade cable operators from running any channel showing the CWC that did not have the rights to show the matches in Pakistan.

This is how the official wire agency APP reported  the conclusion of the case (read in particular the bold bits):

"ISLAMABAD, Feb 1 (APP): Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday disposed of Geo Super landing rights case on the assurance of counsel of the petitioner and the respondent to resolve the issue with mutual consent within a week. A single member bench comprising Justice Tariq Anwar Kasi resumed hearing regarding the landing rights case of Geo Super.

Counsel for Geo Super Akram Sheikh apprised the court that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is not implementing the Supreme Court orders in letter and spirit. He contended that in case of landing rights expired on February 28 Geo Super would not be able to telecast ICC cricket World Cup matches to be played after that date. Afnan Karim Kundi, counsel for PTV apprised the court that the petitioner did not present the law and rules of landing rights in front of the Court. He said that the PEMRA ordinance was promulgated in 2002 and that nobody was being victimized.

Shahid Mehmood Khokhar, another counsel for PTV, informed the court that GEO is warying [sic] to overcome its losses through the courts.

Salman Akram Raja, Counsel for PEMRA, told the court that the authority was not going to “off air” Geo Super transmission despite that they are defaulter of PEMRA for the last four years. He said,”We are implementing the court orders and PEMRA has circulated a copy of court orders on landing rights to all cable operators in this regard.”

Later when counsel of Geo Super Tariq Hassan prayed the court for more relief, the learned Justice remarked, “If you are not satisfied then the court will decide the case on the merit.” However, the counsel for Geo said that his client was ready to sort out matters with PEMRA within one week.

Both the counsel of the petitioner and respondents prayed the court
that they would solve the matter with mutual consent within one week so kindly dispose of the case.

After hearing the arguments, the court disposed of the case by passing following orders: “The counsel for PEMRA informed the court that they do not intend to off air the transmission of petitioner channel in connection with PEMRA press release of January 28 providing base for filing the petition.”

“The above undertaking that they would settle issue of annual fee payment within one week time, learned counsel placed on record a letter where by the orders of Supreme Court has been acted upon and a copy has been circulated to all cable operators, since the grievances are no more now, therefore, counsel for the petitioner wants withdrawal of the petition , the case is disposed off.”"

So basically, Geo itself had its case disposed of and there is no longer a case of any violation of the court's orders.

Given all these lies, half-truths and fabrications on the part of Geo, why do I then still say that the Jang Group is almost surely also being victimized by the government? Simply because PEMRA's hands are not clean either. Although PEMRA has responded angrily to the Jang Group's claims involving one of its former officers (who alleged to The News that he was issued verbal instructions to cause problems for Geo Super), even leaving the veracity of this particular incident aside, there is little doubt - from background and off-the-record interviews - that PEMRA did undertake a policy of using cable operators to make things difficult for Geo. This involved cable operators arbitrarily switching Geo Super's position in their channel bouquets and degrading its signals. It all culminated in the so-called strike by cable operators during the CWC, ostensibly against PEMRA's high-handedness but which actually targeted Geo Super in particular by leaving the field open only for Pakistan Television to show that day's match. This of course impacted Geo Super's advertising revenues significantly at least on that day. It may all be legally difficult to prove but the thinking behind it was the same that General Musharraf employed after his Emergency regulations failed to curb the hostility of private news channels like Geo. And this thinking is to hit them where it really hurts: in the pocket.

In addition, one has only to look at PEMRA's past record of taking to task other violations of its Rules. As the large number of illegal cable channels showing pirated films all over Pakistan with immunity - in total violation of the PEMRA Ordinance - demonstrates, there are violations, and then there are violations. Had the Jang Group not been on a warpath against the government, it is more than likely that PEMRA would have taken a lenient view of the group's violations, as it has done with many before.

Where the Jang Group's stupidity lies is that it has allowed PEMRA and the government a handy legal excuse to go after it. Already PEMRA is threatening to go to court in response to the fabrication of allegations against it and to pray for Geo Super to be permanently blacklisted for its violations. If you must take on the government politically, it usually is a good idea to keep your nose clean in other ways. But then, the Jang Group has hardly been known to pay all its taxes and has never shied away from using media clout to get what it wants, whether justified or not. Recall that the Jang Group is also alleged to be a defaulter of over 90 crores in back-taxes over many years, a case that continues to remain pending and is dredged up only when the government wants to exert pressure on the group. If only the average taxpayer had that kind of luxury.

What this brouhaha also shows is how neither the government nor the media hold the moral high ground in Pakistan. It's a sordid, sordid business in which lies and damned lies are the norm and the poor unsuspecting public are merely emotional pawns one way or the other. Once a compromise is reached - and it will be one way or another since the stakes are too high for both parties to take it over the edge - the public who think they are bringing about popular change by affixing their names to silly petitions, will be left by the wayside.


: : : UPDATES : : :

Update I (12 April 2011):

Trust politicians to jump into the fray with loud rhetoric but little in the way of information or understanding of the issues. This was the main story in The News today, which I saw only after I had posted the above piece.

We have also been made aware that PEMRA has today issued "show cause notices" to both Geo Super and Geo News. Geo Super has been issued the notice for "illegally blocking transmission without any cogent or lawful reason in violation of Section 28 of the PEMRA Act 2007" (Amended PEMRA Ordinance 2002). The following is Section 28 of the Act:

"28. Suspension of broadcast media or distribution service.- A broadcast media or distribution service operator shall not cease or suspend broadcasting except on account of force majeure or with the prior approval of the Authority."

Geo News has been issued a notice "under Section 20 for propagating false and baseless news maligning PEMRA and deceiving the public." Section 20 of the PEMRA Act 2007 deals basically with the 'Terms and Conditions of the License' and its clause (d) specifies that licensee must "comply with the rules made under this ordinance." Section 1-(d) in the Schedule-A of the PEMRA Rules states that "No programme shall be aired which..."

"(d) contains anything defamatory or knowingly false;"


Finally, our friend @mirza9 has also pointed out that the satellite licenses Geo News and Geo Entertainment are registered under the name of Independent Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd. while the licenses for Aag and Geo English are registered under the name of Independent Newspapers Corporation (Pvt) Ltd. which may mean that both separately registered companies could yet claim a further two licenses under the law to prevent monopolies (see main post). However, while we are not aware of their directors / CEOs / ownership details, both companies are registered at the same address and share the same telephone and fax numbers.

 Screen shot of PEMRA licensee list courtesy @mirza9


We have asked PEMRA for clarification on this issue - whether two companies that ostensibly share ownership can be issued licenses as separate entities, and are waiting to hear back from them.

52 comments:

Shahid Saeed said...

CPM FTW !

PEMRA does not enforce any laws that do not earn green. As for the 5%/7.5% other %ages of revenue that need to be paid for various things, PEMRA's former DG acknowledged, "not a single channel has ever paid 5% of their revenues to Pemra or the government, as stipulated".

So noone, apparently, pays PEMRA it's dues.

Anonymous said...

In our area Geo Super and Aag are completely blocked 'with black screens'... so i think ur claim that Geo Super and Aag has not been pulled off air completely is false... I have not heared even by a single person that Geo Super and Aag are not blocked in their area.. and by blocked i mean 'No transmission: screens gone black/blue'

Ammar Haider said...

Well perfect article.. I am always against GEO for their this dirty tactics to get sympathy.. and their claim regarding airing the shows even though having losses, sorry its hard to buy that..

It is showing the logo with crosses in ma area.

Nabeel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nabeel said...

What a great post. Thank you for laying this out - now if only similar stories did the rounds in the newspapers, but I'm not sure DAWN or ExTrib want to or can battle Geo.

As Shahid correctly points out, its digusting that our media giants are massively indebted and haven't paid taxes in years, yet have the temerity to trumpet 'accountability' and 'integrity' to the politicians.

In fact, how anyone can stand Geo's self-righteous hypocrisy is beyond me. On Saturday, it seemed like the only news in Pakistan was 'GEO SUPER BLOCKED BY PEMRA'. The second headline was, of course, the Wali Khan Babar case. I was watching the clock - the first 14 minutes of the 9pm news broadcast were exclusively about how Geo Super was singlehandedly saving Pakistan from the brink of destruction and how PEMRA,a dictatorial govt agency that acts at the behest of Zardari himself, is hell bent on destroying Geo Super. Because of course, the government is attacking Geo. It`s not like Geo ever makes any false allegations regarding the government. It`s not like Geo could EVER be wrong. Oh no, they are the beacons of journalistic integrity and honesty. Without Geo, Pakistan would spiral out of control and fall into the hands of CIA/RAW/Mossad. Give me a break!

Let this prove to everyone that Geo makes no pretensions to being a media watchdog and merely pushes its own agendas, which may or may not be to the benefit of Pakistan or its citizens.

Their Mission Statement (via http://geo.tv/geopages/corporate_profile.htm): GEO informs and entertains while celebrating cultures and prompting dialogue in the spirit of "live and let live".

Nowhere does Geo claim to provide objective news serving to inform the public about matters of public interest. Then they have the sheer audacity to talk about 'Pakistan ki behtari' or 'sach' or anything that connotes noble intentions.

Btw, all that said, Geo Super was a great channel and I'd love to see it back up and running in Pakistan. It's just that the Jang group is so two-faced.

As others have mentioned, Geo had a monopolistic license for the CWC that the Competition Commission objected to (http://www.cc.gov.pk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=159&Itemid=86), but of course, it's like United Nations.

TightDhoti said...

Drama kar kai geo!

Saad Durrani said...

Everytime, they start with the news; the tragedy of GEO Super begins. And I change the channel.

How come ARY/TEN SPORTS never had these problems. Furthermore, all hue and cry that they made on CWC but not once they saw what's amiss. CWC was riddled with ads on every possible instance but it did not cover the event like Star Sports did.

Anonymous said...

Dear sir stop playing the words game,in Islamabad and lahore Geo Super is Blocked,and by blocked it means blocked..i think its time for us stop our pessimist approach about Jang Grouop,and i being one of your top admirers expect an optimist approach from such a legendary writer like you

Rabab Khan said...

CafePyala, tsk tsk. How dare you crush the dreams and hopes of a simple nation that believes so unerringly in Geo and PEMRA? :D

Thanks for an unbiased and informative post. Oh and by the way, Geo Super in Islamabad and Rawalpindi is showing that crossed image so yeah, not blocked by PEMRA.

dude said...

Geo Super does not show a black screen but rather their logo with the cross , as mentioned by the writer. Further Aag is still being aired here, with a full barrage of IPL matches. Their logo has has just gone colourless , and nothing more.

dude said...

And I am talkin abt Khi. Yes both Geo Channels are running here. Aag in full wing (including IPL) and Super with the big cross logo.

Farrukh said...

Great post CPM, we all know Jang Group's "Tahlee ka Bengan" days. Pretty much reflects the state of mind of MIR (Sr.) & MIR (Jnr.)

Magnum said...

Meaty stuff. Much needed in the face of the utter bullshit being peddled by Geo News, Jang and The News.

Becoming victems they think is good for gaining some street-cred.

I for one would now like to see a cross on Geo News as well.

Anonymous said...

Great post, PPP played mazloom for years, then MQM mastered it and now its GEO. Time Imran Khan should merge and change his party's name to Tehreek e Insaaf e Geo:)

BTW, did you check out Tribune's anniversary issue. Haven't seen such self praise since GEO.

Anonymous said...

Yea dude is right, Aag is running infact the number has changed, and now the Aag is running where Geo super used to be.

Anonymous said...

Indian cricket keeps on partying
By Syed Tashfin Chowdhury
Apr 12, 2011
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MD12Df03.html

"SET Max, the official broadcaster of the IPL, hopes to earn more than 10 billion rupees during the 10-team, 74-match IPL competition which got underway on Friday. Cricket is the most important sport in South Asia, and the league is watched by hundreds of millions of live spectators and TV viewers in the region."

How about Geo and Aag tv then?

Anonymous said...

One of the most insightful pieces ever written on the media. In my nearly 30 years have rarely seen this quality of research. Wish you could offer some of your research tools/best practices to GEO News and Current Affairs. All Geo would say in response:'Parday mein rehnay do, pardah naa uthaaow...'

Anonymous said...

if anyone of you was working for a group which has been deprived of government ads, supplements for the last two years, your group would have also been ranting against the government.

the fact is its channels cannot be banned in any case. secondly, if all of you hate the group and its channels, then why do you tune in to the 9news bulletin.

abbasi said...

excellent.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if Geo hasn't paid one penny in taxes since 1947.
After all who pays taxes here in Pakistan? Well this is wrong but this is how things are done here.
All I care about is that they have been the most active critics of zardari government and journalists such as Ansar Abbasi have unveiled many corruption scandals that have been the cause of great disrespect for the govt. so Government being mad with Geo is understandable.
If Geo is bad mouthing the government then I guess government is getting what it deserves.
I LIKE IT.....:P

Anonymous said...

Enough of this one sided propaganda against jang group. I know who is behind all this on this website and on LUBP. It is cafe pyala's and LUPB’s ideological godfather Nadeem Farooq Paracha a soldout leftist and man known for keeping vendettas and heavy drinker.

He is behind LUBP and cafe pyala people who are spreading his gospel of liberalism and anti-national sentiments. shame on u.

NarayaN said...

Kudos to the author. This is a very well-written & very informative post.
.
The methodical handling of the items & the attempts are providin an unbiased approach to the event/s - is fantastic. It's a privilege to have read this post & an honor to be able to comment on it.
.
End of day - can you really blame Jang for not paying taxes. Where is the accountability & transperancy - of where/how the tax money is being used. Being an Indian, I can 100% relate to the plight of tax-paying public of Pakistan.
.
Join the latest fad in my nation - Anna Hazare's fight against corruption & the JAN-LOK-PAL bill. I'm not 100% supporting the bill - but it's light-years ahead than the government-opposition sponsored bill.
.
All organizations, government, NGO or Charitable ones - all of them, must be accountable & transperant. What happens to money is of utmost importance to every individual in a society - from the paan-waala to the Prime Minister.
.
Once again, this is a fantastic post. Thank you & Have a great week ahead.
.
MN

Anonymous said...

We should all remember that one main reason why all the other media groups like express nawaiwaqt etc hate Jang/Geo groups is because Jang group's channels, newspaper etc have been more popular and successful among the general public. On the other hand the newspaper for which Nadeem Paracha writes is only popular among a handful people even though they relate themselves to Quid e Azam.

I see the author of this blog and Nadeem Paracha always keep whining about how bad things are here in Pakistan believe me I never find anything positive on this blog.

Ozymandias said...

Very well done indeed.Kudos to all and much respect for all the hard work that went into this piece. And to all the anonymouses (anonymi?): you forgot the NFP is also a Zionist agent who dilutes his whisky with the blood of Pakistani children. Not Blood Libel, but Blood Label. Mind it.

Ozymandias said...

Pardon the typo in previous post 'that' came out as 'the'. My bad. It's just that Blood Label going to my head.

Gul Bukhari said...

This was delicious. Lots of work must've gone into it. Respect.

Anonymous said...

Yes.. why is it that there is nothing optimistic on this blog like on GEO?

Serious a great post though.. worth a RT and then some

Anonymous said...

pakistani fox news.

Anonymous said...

@Ozymandias
I hope you realize that your "role model" NFP sounds like a complete idiot when he brags about his drinking everywhere. Think about it how LK Adwani will look like if he admits on twitter that he likes to drink cow urine and it is good for health.
There are somethings that our society can not digest no matter how much liberal or broad minded we become.

Faiza said...

Welcome back CPM. And thanks for a refreshingly sober, rational analysis of this silly affair that Geo has blown sickeningly out of proportion. Great that you're trying to be even-handed by putting some of the blame on PEMRA/the govt., but in this case I reserve my scorn and disgust exclusively for Geo. No end to their slimy tactics and self-righteousness!

Ullta Seedha said...

You are right anon@4:59. People like NFP cannot talk about drinking in this society, but those who like to talk about how many infidels they killed for the sake of Islam can.

It is confused 'moderates' like you on whose wishy-washy bullshit extremists have build their house of slaughter. Go and have a drink. It's on me.

anon@4:59 said...

@Ullta Seedha
What are you getting at? Are you suggesting we should have pubs, gay marriages and nude beaches and all like in 'civilized' countries?
Like I said if I was so unhappy with this country and hypocrisy around here I wouldn't be whining about it in newspapers, I wouldn't be living here at all then. Only things that NFP writes about are bad things that happen here. But he still lives here because he gets big phat monies from writing in newspapers so he can't leave the country.
DO you think you are the only one who hates suicide jihadis. I can tell you everybody hates them its only a bunch of stupid politicians who don't openly condemn the jihadists. The difference is when somebody like you sees a suicide jihadi you say Islam is bad when somebody like me sees one I say we must kill these mofos and we must have a proper system so that no more such jihadists are born. A system like we must spend less on army and spend more on education in the country because more educated you are the lesser the chances that you will grow up to become a suicide bomber.

Kumail said...

so where does that put " ptv home " ? does that come under a sports specific or entertainment channel because if its simultaneously screening soaps and other shows together with showing cricket matches isnt that what aag did and got served ??

NarayaN said...

@ Ullta Seedha
You seem to empathize with us dirty kuffar & humiliated infidels (including hinddooooos). How so? Do you, then, agree that the ONE TRUE religion of the ONE TRUE God is equal to other religions? I strongly support your veiled statement about jihadis & how they're not criticized in many parts of the world (not just Pakistan).
It's good to know there's some amount of sense left in the Islamic world - thank you! (Of course, I'm assuming you are part of the Ummah).
.
@anon@4:59
You said "when somebody like me sees one I say we must kill these mofos"
That's what I term 'jihadi thinking'. When a Jihadi looks at a non-veiled or burka-free Muslimaah - that's exactly what he thinks. He thinks he needs to kill these mofos - and guess what happens next? Booooom.. Look at the number of Ahmadis murdered - and the number of Sufi dargahs destroyed. Aren't Ahmadis & Sufis following Islam, too? BTW, I'm a dirty kuffar infidel hindoooooo. Want to smite at my neck when you see me - refer al-Quran-e-Majheed Surah 47 Ayat 4? To the Jihadi, us dirty kuffar infidels are at war with Islam - how 'bout you? It's just a matter of time - when you'll also become a jihadi & want to indulge in the instruction of Quran 47:4 - against me & my ilk - I assure you, you will.
.
"we must have a proper system so that no more such jihadists are born"
Wrong again - jihadis are not 'born'. No sane human being will sensibly want to indulge in mass-murder. It is the opium of religion (in many cases) that leads to a *CONVERSION* of a normal sane human being into a sub-human insane zombie (jihadi). For example, no sane person will want to kill someone because they're sub-human/barbaric. Killing a barbaric individual will only lead to others, who identify themselves with that individual, to indulge in barbarism. You kill Kasab - you'll see more 17-year olds that identify with Kasab pick up the gun. And yet, many stupid people think violence is the answer. No wonder such people are easily fooled into killing others - be it heretics (in their view, like sufis, Bahais, Ahmadis) or us dirty kuffar infidels.
.
Believe me - there are enough stupid senseless Hindooooo organizations like Bajrang Dal, VHP, RSS, etc that are equally pathetic. So, this is not limited to just Pakistan or to one religion. But, when you look at the statistics - it is ****ALARMING****. Ever heard of a bomb-blast at a low caste Hindu temple carried out by upper caste hindooos - nope, not one. Ever heard of Sufi dargahs & sufis blown to pieces by senseless sub-human zombies - lots of times. Why so? Conspriacy by RAW, MOSSAD & CIA, right?
.
MN

Ullta Seedha said...

anon said:
What are you getting at? Are you suggesting we should have pubs, gay marriages and nude beaches and all like in 'civilized' countries?

How dare I? We should just have mosques, madressas, more mosques and more madressas and people like NFP should be banished from the country because they have a problem with many of these madaris producing hatered.

Grow up and smell the coffee, friend.

qazi umair said...

thanks for sharing us the real news about Geo....
Even i was wondering that the reasons which Geo was coming up with were very absurd.. i mean no one can shut a channel for those stupid reasons which Geo is telling everyone...

Zain said...

"which PEMRA is too idiotic to explain properly" ?!

I think the Public Notice by PEMRA is pretty much clear. This post is exhaustive and has too much redundancy.

And GEO network is such a drama!!

TLW said...

MSS, this one was beautifully researched. Excellent. A great deconstruction on how Jang Group debases the language of democracy for its corporate profits.

We are all impressed with your work. We can only wish that other reporters in Pakistan manage research with this depth and persistence. Great job Pyalas.

TLW said...

Yaar, Narayan, you're attack on Ultra Seedha was uncalled for. He was implicitly siding with you. You really should cool it in attacking Pakistanis who come to Cafe Pyala. The implicit assumption is that 80~90% of them are liberal.

Anonymous said...

Love it or hate it. Without jang group, our media would have had been extremely dull and boring.

Geo and jeenay doh!

Anonymous said...

Love it or hate it. Without jang group, our media would have had been extremely dull and boring.

Geo and jeenay doh!

Nasser said...

@Anon 11:57am
If sanity means being dull and boring, I'll take it.

AKS said...

Great post CPM.

However, you failed to mention that PEMRA has also unjustifiably suspended the issuance of new satellite tv licenses. They claim its because the cable networks are saturated, but that's utter BS considering:-

1) The cable networks have been saturated for some time now and cable networks have been picking and choosing the channels they prefer. New licenses = new channels = more choice for cable operators.

2) They are still granting landing rights. Wont this saturate the networks?

3) They have never asked cable operators - either multiple system operators (MSOs) or local cable tv operators (LCOs) to obtain better technology and update their networks.

4) Cable tv operators fill up a large chunk of their networks with unlicensed channels - star plus, colors, etc, and copyright infringing in-house movie channels. How about asking them to shut these down and freeing up space?

Its pretty evident PEMRA's real aim is to try and limit smaller local companies and organizations from entering into the sector, as the only way to launch a new channel now is to uplink from a foreign country and then seek landing rights in Pakistan.

anon@4:59 said...

@Ullta Seedha
I don't understand how two wrongs can make one right? Suicide bombers are wrong in their thinking because they are misinterpreting the religion of peace to a whole new level. But how does that make Mr. NFP's actions right?
I believe the use of alcoholic beverages is not a norm in our society although many people drink but admitting it openly and bragging about it everywhere makes one look like a complete retard cause it is not only against our religion but also against the law.
I understand that you guys can not stand criticism here, although you keep criticizing everybody else. so i am not expecting a reply here. May be my posts will be deleted soon.


@NarayaN

You can't understand the phenomenon of suicide bombing cause you don't have to deal with them. Pakistanis die each day because of them and we have to kill them to stop them. There is no other way, either they die or we die. I hate them because I want the unrest to end.

"it is ****ALARMING****. Ever heard of a bomb-blast at a low caste Hindu temple carried out by upper caste hindooos - nope, not one."

Good point. I think hindu extremists folks are smarter than our average suicide bomber folks because they don't do these small blasts in temples etc but they do kill thousands in riots every now and then and make it look like muslims started it. So I got to admit they are smarter than our Jihadis.

Ozymandias said...

@ Anonymous, 'role model'. Wow, that's like asking 'who is your ideal?'. Anyway if Mr Advani were to talk about cow pee then I would assume he's the new spokesman for this product: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article5707554.ece

It's called Yellow Label. Mind that too.

NarayaN said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
XYZ said...

@NarayaN, @Ozymandias, @Ulta Seedha, @Anon459: Much as we all appreciate your intellectual exchange about religion, extremism, the drinking habits of people and what not, any further comments unrelated to the post will be considered spam and removed. Please respect this.

@NarayaN: Your last post has been removed because it really has nothing to do with the topic and is far too long. I really do wish you would stop inserting your off-topic problems/musings with/about Islam (or religion in general) into every single unrelated post.

anon@4:59 said...

I am sorry if anybody was hurt due to my posts. I didn't mean it. Basically I like this blog and I am a big fan of columns of NFP. I follow his tweets all the time.
Its just that you always criticize that person most whom you like the most. I hope you understand.

Anonymous said...

First of all I am generally against this emotional black mailing tactic used by GEO to get a FREE LICENSE…
Secondly, they should have made a democratic petition by entering another option in the petition, for people who dont want to allow them a “public license”….haha public license, bloody mir khalil and mir shakeel black mailing scum bags, they will burn in hell!

NarayaN said...

@ XYZ,
.
You said, " I really do wish you would stop inserting your off-topic problems/musings with/about Islam (or religion in general) into every single unrelated post."
.
Unfortunately, it's a package deal. Let me just buzz off from your site & allow you to live your life as you wish to. Adios - hope you're happy - one kufar reader less - now. Allah Hafiz ~!

Hareem said...

thank you so much for this detailed explanation. Being out of the country we only have access to GEO channel (as a link to news back home) and I totally believed all of Geo's "claims" until I couldn't tolerate their whining anymore.
Great article.

shabana said...

nice link, i like it.