Pak news channels off air after terrorist attack


In a daring attack, heavily-armed Taliban terrorists dressed in military uniforms targeted Pakistan army's headquarters in Rawalpindi near here, triggering a fierce gun battle that killed four attackers and six armymen, including a Brigadier and a Lt.Colonel.

Geo, ARY News and Samaa channels disappeared from the airwaves for a few hours this evening. There was no word from the government on the development.

The channels were briefly replaced on cable networks with a message from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority that said their broadcasts had been suspended until further orders.

They resumed broadcasting shortly before 8 pm. Other news channels were not affected by the blackout.

Samaa TV’s news director Ehtesham-ul-Haq said the government had not given any notice of the blackout to his channel. Haq said his channel had been the first to air the news of the terrorist assault attack on the General Headquarters and its team was the first to reach the scene.

"It may be the reason that our channel is being punished," he said. News cannot be stopped in the present era and it will continue to be aired, he added. During the emergency declared by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in later 2007, authorities often blacked out channels that were critical of his policies. Geo was also briefly taken off the airwaves during anti-government protests in March this year.

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