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Pakistani government pressures UAE to block television programme

(PPF/IFEX) - Geo News, Pakistan's leading television news channel, has alleged that the Pakistani government exerted "immense pressure" on the United Arab Emirates government to stop production of "Meray Mutabiq" (Urdu for "According to me"), a popular programme hosted by Dr Shahid Masood from Dubai. The programme was not allowed to be telecast on the night of 23 November 2009 from the Dubai studios of Geo TV.

Masood presented his programme from a different location without the use of his studio and technical facilities and announced that he had been stopped by local authorities from presenting the programme.

Faisal Aziz, bureau chief of "The News", told PPF that the Dubai government prevented the telecast of the programme in the Geo News Dubai studio, following a phone call from the Pakistani government. Aziz said the channel would continue to air the programme from other locations.

The management of Geo TV has condemned the action of the Pakistani authorities aimed at influencing a foreign government to suppress a Pakistani media organisation.

Masood said in a statement that he has been receiving threats and that the banning of his show in Dubai was a clear proof of the government's desperation and panic. He expressed, however, his determination to continue speaking the truth and exposing corruption and the wrongdoings of the government, without fear.

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