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Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Friday, 13 June 2008 11:55 UK

Pakistan's Geo TV 'warned by UAE'

By M Ilyas Khan
BBC News, Karachi

Advert from Geo TV in Jang newspaper
Geo TV's advert inviting Mr Musharraf to host his own talk show

Pakistan's popular Geo TV news channel, which transmits from Dubai, says the United Arab Emirates has asked it to drop two talk shows.

Geo says that the UAE told it the alternative was for Geo to move its operations out of the country.

The programmes have been critical of President Musharraf. Geo TV's management says President Musharraf has influenced the UAE.

Geo says it has invited Mr Musharraf to hold his own talk show on the station.

'Under pressure'

Geo TV has been seen to support a campaign by lawyers for the reinstatement of nearly 60 judges of the higher judiciary sacked by the president when he declared emergency rule last November.

Geo management said in a statement broadcast on the channel that it was under pressure since it aired interviews with three ex-army generals critical of Mr Musharraf in its talk show, Mere Mutabiq (According to Me).

Another talk show, Capital Talk, is generally perceived to be sympathetic to the lawyers' movement for the restoration of the judges.

Geo management said it had been asked by the UAE government to suspend these two talk shows "because the Pakistani officials want this".

It said the UAE officials were politely told that Geo had been providing "objective and unbiased" information to millions of Urdu-speaking people around the world and would continue to do so.

It said it might relocate its programming to Hong Kong or the UK.

Geo says the UAE authorities made a similar request a month ago.

Meanwhile, Geo TV has placed an advertisement in the Jang newspaper, which is part of the same media group, inviting Mr Musharraf to start his own daily or weekly talk on the channel if he thought his side of political developments in Pakistan was not being given enough attention.


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