Pak: State-run media shuns Musharraf

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Islamabad, Jun 10: If sources in Islamabad are to be believed, the PPP-led coalition government has put an unannounced and partial ban on President Pervez Musharraf's coverage on the state-run-media -- PTV and Radio Pakistan. They said that Musharraf's coverage on these two media would be further curtailed soon.

"The partial ban started with the coverage of Pervez Musharraf's last media conference, and he may face more restrictions in getting projection on the state-run television and Radio in the days and the weeks to come," The News quoted the sources as saying.

They further said that Musharraf got coverage just for a few seconds at the end of the main news bulletin of the PTV after a brawl between PTV current affairs authorities also involving Managing Director Yousaf Baig Mirza and the politically appointed team at the organisation.

"Neither was Musharraf's press conference telecast live as in the past nor was he projected in the first two or three events though it was given special significance on private electronic channels," sources at the PTV said.

As Musharraf's media event concluded on Saturday afternoon, it was not allowed to be telecast in any of the news bulletins before prime time 9.00 pm. "Overall coverage of Musharraf has been reduced drastically and the focus has been on the political leaders' coverage in the last almost ten days as the prime minister, ministers and other government functionaries are getting due coverage reflecting democratic era," said the sources.

Pakistan Information Minister Sherry Rehman, the sources said, did not take interest in the brawl and exchange of harsh words between the MD PTV and the newly inducted two coordinators, Nazir Ahmed Dhoki and Captain Wasif.

When contacted, PTV MD Yousaf Baig Mirza claimed that there was no change in the policy of the government on covering the events of the president and other high profile office-holders. "I do not think so, but I will not like to offer more comment on it," he said when asked about the considerably reduced coverage to Musharraf on state controlled media.

ANI

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