Former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry and GEO Network ” Love Story ” – Now The Former Chief justice again gave a proof of his “loyalty” to Geo Network by allowing only his most favorite media group to cover the Full Court Reference Event, while shunning all other media outlets including PTV out in the dark. This is in clear violation of Article 25, which will be remembered as the last salutation of affection from CJP to Geo Network.
Former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry and GEO Network
While people give examples of Romeo & Juliet, Raam Leela and Laila Majnoon as examples of selfless love, we get a mind-boggling and eye raising example of such devotion between the soon-to-be-retired Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and GEO Network, the undoubtedly most controversial media group of the country. Such is the extent of this undying affection for each other that the media coverage of Full Court Reference event was allowed to be covered by only one media group, Geo Network. All other channels among the Government-owned Pakistan Television PTV was not allowed to cover the entire event among all other private channels with the exception of CJP’s favorite, GEO News.
The ‘prem katha’ between GEO Network and Justice (Retd) Iftikhar Chaudhry is not actually a hidden one. Both the parties have given proofs of their “utter devotion” being above any law or ethical dilemma on various occasions. Whether it is running a full-fledged media campaign for the restoration of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry against then-ruling government or trying to pivot the angle of the story when CJP’s son, Arsalan Iftikhar was found involved in a mega corruption scandal. GEO Network has always been eager to prove its loyalty to retired chief justice through potraying overly-positive news reports and forged public reviews about judiciary in their shows every now and then. Now at his departure, while the countrymen is celebrating “Youm-e-Nijaat” (The Day of Relief) on CJP’s retirement, Geo/Jang group regards their beloved’s tenure “a shining performance” and commend him by saying “Well played” – like being the supreme position holder of judiciary of the country is merely a silly game for them.
Here, Chief Justice (Retd) Iftikhar Chaudhry’s role should not be belittled, who has more than reciprocated every favor given to him by Geo News, Mir Shakil ur Rahman and Mir Ibrahim Rahman. Whether it is turning a blind eye to all the evidence against GEO Network and the Mirs, including:
Tax Defaults of more than Rupees 731 Million
Foreign Funding received of more than £4.6 million
airing foreign content 400% in Excess of permitted limit by PEMRA Laws on Geo Kahani as well as Geo Entertainment despite warning served to GEO Network
The Retd. Chief (in)Justice not only turned a deaf ear to much talked-about Media Commission Report, in which the findings and warnings made by PEMRA against GEO Network putting its editorial board on sale for the price of foreign funding; but also “reprimanded” PEMRA for daring to make such “allegations” against beloved GEO Network. Today, once again the honorable Chief Justice (Retd.) Iftikhar Chaudhry has given the final ode to this wretched love story by giving the airing rights of him bidding farewell to his seat only to GEO Network while showing discrimination to all other media networks. This incident agonized the officials and advocates of free & unbiased media all over Pakistan. Reacting on the incident, Justice (Retd) Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui also said that Supreme Court staff does not have prerogative to provide footage to only one channel. He reminded that under Article 25 of the Constitution every citizen enjoys equal rights. But has Iftikhar Chaudhry backed out from “public display of affection” with GEO Network ever for upholding the sanctity of law? Never!
Hence, this love between Justice Chaudhry and GEO Network conquers all – yet the questions raised on sanctity and supremeness of law and judiciary due to the discrimination and biasness as well as the pleas of PEMRA, media & public alike against the violations of media ethics by Geo Network. The silver lining in today’s event is that this hopefully is the last favor made by the Ex-CJP for GEO Network. One can hope and pray that the new Chief Justice of Pakistan, Tasadduq Hussain Sadiq would prove to be a true judge of right and wrong and address the issues deliberately neglected by his predecessor.