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Why did Pakistan's Geo TV go dark?

Why did Pakistan's Geo TV go dark?
From Al Jazeera - April 16, 2018

Early last month, Pakistan's Geo TV went black and remains off the air across much of the country and no one in a position of authority is saying why. Government ministers and the broadcasting regulator have denied any involvement.

The cable companies that pulled the plug on Geo are staying silent. As is the Pakistani military, which has butted heads with Geo before and is suspected by numerous political and media observers as having ordered the blackout.

While Geo TV used to follow the government line, it has in the last decade began to grow in another direction, according to observers.

"What we see now is actually Geo trying to not completely follow the state narrative on politics and that is largely considered to be the source of current friction between the channel and the military, according to Ayesha Siddiqa, research associate at SOAS University and author of Military Inc. "Geo was offering a bit of an alternative and even that was not tolerated."

Authorities in various countries tend to grow less tolerant of critical journalism as elections approach - and Pakistan has one coming up later this year.

Among the election-related topics Geo has covered that may have landed it in trouble is the 18th amendment, a constitutional change made in 2010 that forbids the military from getting involved in political areas outside its own remit of defence.

The army chief of staff wants that amendment abolished. Geo has taken a contrary - and, therefore, politically contentious view.

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