Dubai rulers let Geo go on air
30 November, 2007
ISLAMABAD: The authorities of Dubai Media City (DMC) and IMC Dubai have restored the Geo News channel immediately and asked the administration of the channel to start telecasting its programmes from the facility in the DMC from Thursday midnight.
The abrupt shutdown of Geo News on the 16th of this month, caused unease across the world among viewers who could not watch the channel’s current affairs and news programmes. Geo’s chain of channels is viewed worldwide. The viewers resented the closure of the channel and the journalist community also raised its voice against the action vehemently.
Highly placed diplomatic sources told media on Thursday that United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum took notice of the closure of the highly admired channel and called for a detailed report from the authorities concerned to look into the circumstances and causes of the suspension of the telecast of the channel.
The Shaikh got feedback on the reaction of a large number of Pakistanis living in the UAE and other parts of the region who used to watch Geo with great interest. The UAE ambassador to Pakistan, Ali Muhammad Al Shaamsi, who has played a vital role in bringing the two brotherly countries closer in various fields during his stay here, had marathon discussions on the subject with the high-ups of his country. The envoy conveyed to the authorities in Abu Dhabi the sentiments prevailing in his host country about the action. The international reaction to the suspension of signals of Geo News was unprecedented and demand for its restoration gained momentum with every passing day. People from all walks of life expressed their dismay at the closure of their favourite channel by staging demonstrations and protests. The action of the closure was not commensurate with the policies of the UAE leadership under the sagacious guidance of President of the UAE Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum who have brought about a tremendous turnaround in every sphere of life in their country in a short span of time.
The vision of Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum has enshrined openness and provision of an environment where working free of any curbs is the hallmark. The Geo News closure was taken as a negation of the well established policy of the government that has created history through spectacular progress and development in the UAE.
The sources revealed that Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum ordered the DMC to restore the facilities of up-linking the Geo channel after studying the overall situation and merit of the action. As a result, Geo News could finally be watched through satellite dish from Friday morning.
The Shaikh did not favour a situation where the entrepreneur coming from abroad had to face such difficulties. The Geo administration had already taken up the matter with the authorities in DMC and in the light of the instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Al Maktoum Geo News facilities were restored without further delay, the sources added. High officials of the UAE government talked to the Geo management on phone and informed it of their government’s decision restoring Geo’s transmission. The Geo management expressed gratitude on this development and praised the role of Shaikh Mohammad.