BRITISH GOVERNMENT ADMITS PROVIDING FUNDING TO MIR KHALIL UR RAHMAN FOUNDATION FOR MEDIA CAMPAIGN
- The extracted document from House of Lords Debates provides evidence of foreign funded media campaign that was aired on GEO TELEVISION
- MKR Foundation and GEO, both, previously denied running any “Foreign Funded Media Campaign”
Media Ethics and Transparency– these two virtues seem to be rather nonexistent when talking about GEO Network’s programming. Whether it is showing the faces of rape victims on national TV insensitively without protecting their identity and considering their right to privacy or blatantly disregarding PEMRA regulations by showing objectionable content that spills anti-nationalist venom amongst the viewers – GEO Network has left no stone unturned to make money by hook or crook. When GEO Television Network faced another expose’ of their black deeds by the Media Commission Report and the leak of MKR Foundation’s plea for foreign funding earlier this year, the network strongly denied receiving any sort of foreign funding for the programming prepared and aired by them. Yet in another document extracted from Lords Hansard from British Parliament, The British Government’s Department for International Development has openly admitted to have provided over £950,000 to Mir Khalil Ur Rahman Foundation (the governing NGO of Jang / Geo Group).
In a question asked by Lord Ahmed in the British Parliament’s House of Lords, regarding the amount of money spent by Department for International Development education awareness programme on advertising in Pakistan, DfID admitted to have spent just over £950,000 to date on a media campaign to raise awareness of Pakistan’s education emergency, through print radio and television. In response to another question by Lord Ahmed regarding how much funding they have given to Geo/Jang Group in the present and previous financial years, DfiD responded that it has not provided any direct funding to the GEO/Jang group directly although admitted to have provided the funding to The Mir Khalil ur Rahman Foundation, which runs DfID funded education programme in Pakistan. DfiD further mentioned that MKR Foundation has however purchased television time from GEO at a discounted rate, as part of a transparent process of subcontracting media organizations to deliver this aspect of the programme.
The surfacing of this document has put a question mark on the credibility of Mir Khalil ur Rahman foundation, which has blatantly denied any type of foreign funding received for any sort of media campaign previously. The document also casts a shadow of doubt over the unbiasedness of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan, who reprimanded PEMRA to “behave in a responsible manner” after PEMRA raised allegations of GEO TV’s programming to be funded by foreign sources earlier this year.
Now that all the best kept secrets about hidden sources of revenue of Jang/Geo Group have come out in open (not once but twice!), every eye is on the judiciary with one burning question in all of them.. Will the justice be served to the Guilty or once again, the favoritism and lobbying will win the game for the Sellers of National Integrity?