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Pakistan: Office of cable television operator set ablaze in Karachi

Four unidentified armed men set fire to the office of Worldcall, a cable television operator in Karachi, on Saturday, 19 July 2014 possibly for transmitting Geo News television channels.

According to media reports, on the evening of 19 July four armed men stormed the office located in the posh Clifton locality of the city, forced employees to vacate the office and then set fire to the premises.

Fire fighters rushed to the scene and managed to extinguish the fire.

In May, the industry association of cable television operators decided to suspend the transmission of Geo Television Network channels ostensibly for broadcasting blasphemous content.

The television network apologised for the programme but also went to court against the cable operators' decision. The court ruled the suspension was illegal and directed cable operators to resume transmission of Geo. Worldcall and a number of other cable networks restored transmission but many did not.

The arson attack seems to be in retaliation against the the restoration of Geo Television. Worldcall once again suspended the transmission of Geo Television channels after the arson attack.

"Worldcall had received several threats two days before the incident, and it also informed police about it but no security steps were taken in this regard," said Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Afzal
Butt.

In a statement, the PFUJ strongly condemned the attack and demanded that rangers, police and law enforcement agencies personnel should trace out the culprits involved in the attack and apprehend them.

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