Petition filed in Pak Supreme Court over TV channels blocking row

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Islamabad, Aug 12(ANI): A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan over the blocking of transmission of some TV channels, including Karachi-based Geo News, for airing reports regarding the hurling of shoes at President Asif Ali Zardari.

Dr. Shahid Masood, a journalist, has filed the petition under the Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.

In the petition, Dr. Masood has alleged that the government had blocked transmission of 'a few TV channels' in retaliation against the airing of the Zardari incident, which took place during his party address in Birmingham.

"It raises questions of extreme public importance in respect of enforcement of fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution inter alia the freedom of speech and expression of Press under Article 19," The Nation quoted Dr. Masood, as saying in his petition.

Dr. Masood stressed that the media is legally and morally bound to highlight the problems faced by the people as well as offering solutions to these problems.

"Media contributes towards raising awareness of the society considering it as a national duty. In a democratic country like Pakistan, the media has the right to broadcast all that is in public interest," Dr. Masood said.

"The fourth pillar of the state i.e. media has to ensure stability of the state structure. Therefore, weakening of the media can only have its snowball impact of impairing and damaging other pillars of the state," he added.

It was earlier reported that some Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leaders and government officials had issued threats and warnings to cable operators across country against continuation of the Geo News transmission.

An unidentified middle-aged man had hurled his pair of shoes one after another at Zardari during the event at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

The shoes missed Zardari and landed close to him.

The shoe-thrower, who has not been identified so far, was arrested and rushed outside the hall by security personnel, but was released later. (ANI)

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