Private TV station ordered to suspend broadcasts
KABUL (PAN): The Attorney General Office (AGO) on Sunday ordered a privately-run television channel “Zhwandoon” to suspend airing its programmes after the station came under widespread criticism from different circles over a political talk-show discussing tribes.
AGO spokesman Basir Azizi said an official of the channel and two political commentators, who took part in the discussion, had been summoned to appear before the office.
He said the AGO’s decision came after the views expressed at the show were widely criticised.
The Zhwandoon TV director, Mohammad Ismail Yun, Wolesi Jirga member Bismillah Afghanmal and military affairs expert Abdul Wahid Taqat had attended the show.
Azizi said Yun appeared before the AGO on Sunday and another two summoned were to appear tomorrow. He said more details about the matter would be released, pending an investigation.
But Yun told Pajhwok Afghan News the channel’s programmes continued to be aired as normal and had not been suspended.
He said the Ministry of Information and Culture wanted to divert people’s attention from the issue of dropping words Afghan and Islam from new ID cards by accusing the TV of creating differences among tribes.
He said he visited the AGO to submit a seven-article petition. “In the petition, it has been asked that all archives of TV stations be examined to determine who worked for ethnic and linguistic interests and who received money from where.”
Yun said the AGO told him the Media Complaints and Violations Commission had accused his channel of airing programmes against the national interest.
Earlier President Karzai told a conference in Kabul that television channels should avoid spreading differences among tribes and airing programmes against the national interest.
A day earlier, hundreds of people took to the streets in Kabul, calling for individuals accused of fueling prejudices to be tried.
The AGO spokesman also said a private newspaper “Ansar” had also been accused of insulting participants of the Loya Jirga on the security agreement with the US.
Azizi said the paper’s officials had been summoned to appear before the AGO for questioning in response to a complaint by the media complaints commission.
He warned media outlets of judicial inquiry if they were found guilty of airing programmes against the national interest.
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