Islamabad. Geo News was once again at the receiving end of serious allegations on Thursday over a map of Pakistan it aired on 27 May 2015. According to reports the channel depicted Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan a part of India during its show “Aaj Shahezeb Khanzada kay Sath”.
Pakistani internet users severely criticized the channel a day after airing of this map and accused the channel of hurting their nationalist feelings. It is pertinent to mention here that this is not the first time Geo News has depicted Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan as a part of India. The same show’s previous host Kamran Khan, in news these days for abandoning a second news channel, had also aired this incomplete map of Pakistan. Websites of Geo News and The News, however, continue to embed incomplete maps of Pakistan depicting these areas as a part of India.
On the other hand India recently placed a ban on Aljazeera News over showing Kashmir as a part of Pakistan. Geo News’ depiction of wrong Pakistani map meanwhile has not been taken up by the authorities. The channel is already facing several FIRs against its owner Mir Shakil ur Rehman on blasphemy charges. Even after several non-bailable arrest warrants and a court verdict, the owner is still absconding.
Informed circles in the country’s capital suggest present government’s soft corner for the channel for unknown reasons. After an incident of torture on media men last year, Pakistan’s Prime Minister was found sympathetic only to Geo News in a parliament session despite the fact that the tortured media men were from several news channels.
Pakistanis took their protest against Geo News’ depiction of Pakistani territory in India to several Social Media websites forcing the programs’ host Shahzeb Khanzada’s apologetic explanation the next day. Twitter saw the hashtag #GeoAgainstKashmirFreedom on top Pakistan Trends Thursday over the incident.