KARACHI - The reporters of a Jang media group on Friday collided with the Cable Operators Association (COA) at Karachi Press Club shortly after it started the press conference.

When COA chairman Khalid Arain started the press conference, a reporter of Jang group stood up and leveled allegations against the COA chairman for suspending the transmission of Geo TV channel.

The journalist also targeted other cable operator’s representatives who were present on the occasion. In response to the charges leveled against the COA, Arain said currently the cable operators were facing difficulties because of anger. “Programmes on aired by any TV channel are not related to cable operators. The cable operators have no role in satisfactying the public. Despite the fact, the enraged people blamed us and started cutting off our cable connections in anger spread out by a TV channel.”

Arain was explaining his point of view when the reporters of Jang group started scuffling against the representatives of the COA thus the press conference was ended and members of COA left the Karachi Press Club.

The COA chairman left the conference hall of the KPC. Talking to the media men, he said the press conference was deliberately sabotaged by the reporters of Jang group. He said the media group claims to fight for freedom of press stopped us to speak.

Exchange of hot words turned the press conference into scuffle for some time until the cable operators’ delegation left the press conference in protest.

He said the Jang group had dispatched at least 18 reporters with an aim to sabotage the press conference. He said the cable operators were subjected to verbal as well as physical abuse by the Jang group reporters. “We have a right to take legal action against the people responsible for tragedy.” 

GM Jamali, president of Karachi Union of Journalists; Rana Azeem, president of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and other media groups have strongly condemned the incident.

The PFUJ has announced that it would suspend the membership of Jang group reporters involved in the incident.

Later while addressing a press conference, COA chairman said they were under severe pressure of public to stop airing the transmission of Geo TV. He said they would first approach the Pemra and if their grievances would not be addressed then they would approach the Supreme Court of Pakistan. “We cannot take the responsibility of Geo TV’s irresponsible reporting. The Jang group reporters threatened us. We do not understand that why they stopped us from conducting the press conference. All cable operators should decide to run Geo TV as per their conscience. Mir Shakeelur Rehman should apologise to the nation on airing of blasphemous material.”

He demanded the government to cancel the licence of Geo TV channel and impose complete ban on it. “We will start countrywide protests against Geo TV from today (Saturday),” he added.