Transmission of Geo TV was blocked in some parts of the country and copies of The News and the daily Jang burnt in a few areas of Karachi and Sindh on Sunday as the media group gave coverage to the hurling of shoes at President Asif Ali Zardari during his party address in Birmingham.

Many offices of cable operators in Karachi were set ablaze by angry activists of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Newspaper vendors were robbed of copies of The News and the daily Jang upon the direction of PPP leaders, besides, PPP workers were accompanied by police officials in hurling threats at cable operators and hawkers, sources told the media.

Most copies of The News and the daily Jang were burnt to ashes after snatching them from hawkers at gunpoint in parts of Karachi. Some PPP leaders and government officials have issued threats and warnings to cable operators across the country against the continuation of Geo News’ transmission, pressurising them to shut it down, but most of the cable operators refused to do so, sources said.

However, a private company named World Call and another one, KMPC, blocked Geo News signals at 2am early on Sunday morning. People were of the view that Geo/Jang Group is being penalised over the revealing of facts and speaking the truth. They said the ruling elite was angry over reporting of news regarding controversial visit of president Zardari in face of worst floods in country.

The president was not only being criticised in country, but international media was also grilling him due to massive human crisis in country while he refused to call off his UK visit. Anwar Shaikh adds from Nawabshah: Copies of The News and the daily Jang could not reach Nawabshah, Noshehro Feroz, Khairpur and Sukkur because unidentified armed persons set on fire bundles of the publications of the Jang group near Sakrand Town on National Highway some 20 kilometres from here.

The armed men stopped the vehicle transporting newspapers on National Highway, pulled out bundles of the daily Jang and The News, and set them on fire, and disappeared. Newspaper hawkers waiting for copies of the daily Jang and The News held a protest and chanted slogans against the people involved in the burning of copies of the newspapers.

However, remaining copies of the newspapers were later unloaded by hawkers in the presence of a police contingent. Journalists also staged a protest in front of the Nawabshah Press Club and strongly condemned the act of burning of newspapers. Addressing the protest, Zulfiqar Memon, Ismail Domki, Anwar SHaikh, Rizwan Thebo and other journalists said some elements were attempting to muzzle the media.

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