LONDON (Reuters) – Dubai-based Pakistani television station Geo has been warned by Dubai authorities it could lose its licence unless it drops two talk shows, Western journalist groups said on Thursday.
The private channel’s two shows had given wide coverage to efforts to reinstate judges dismissed by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf after he imposed emergency rule in November, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
GEO TV president Imran Aslam told Reporters Without Borders Dubai authorities had told him the station would lose its licence if the two talk shows were not taken off the air, a statement by the group said.
“Officials at Dubai Media City, where the GEO TV group is based, said these programmes threatened UAE’s relations with a friendly country,” it said.
A station official in Dubai contacted by Reuters declined to comment.
Officials at the Dubai Media City, a free zone set up to attract global media organizations, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The International Federation of Journalists called in a statement on its website on the United Arab Emirates government “to explain why, and on whose authority, it asked the independent Pakistan television broadcaster to cancel the programs.”
Geo’s broadcasts out of Dubai, a regional trade and tourism hub in the United Arab Emirates, were blocked by authorities in the Gulf emirate for several weeks in November and December after the imposition of emergency rule.