Geo News is Back On Air – Will it be business as usual??

  • How soon will Geo roll out its vendetta in motion against Army and ISI once again?

  • Who will be the next target of Geo’s media atrocity – PEMRA? Supreme Court? Government of Pakistan and PML(N)?

Pakistani Media Scenario is no less than a warzone since last few months, with Media mafias being exposed like Mir Shakil ur Rahman (Geo and Jang Group) with their underlying agendas against Pakistan Army and ISI under the cover of a media house uncovered. Geo Group further faced a major backlash regarding an alleged attempt of blasphemy on a morning show, which resulted in further backlash from public and PEMRA alike resulting in a 15 days nationwide ban on Geo News and severe hatred for the GEO and Jang group among the masses.

This provided competitors like Express News, ARY News and Dunya the golden opportunity to capture the market. But somehow,these channels failed to do so, mainly the reason being the lack of resources and quality programming that could not get the attention of the audience in that way to watch their channel.

All the media pundits who have observed Mir Shakil ur Rahman’s longstanding use of media as a mafia have predicted that he will not rest until he get his vendetta in motion against Army and ISI once again after Operation Zarb-e-Azb settles. Who knows what may be next in Geo agenda after Army and PTI – PEMRA? Supreme Court? Government of Pakistan and PML(N)?

The current situation in Pakistani media all the more calls for a player that can stand against Geo TV’s incessant revengenda against those who have ousted them for what they really are – blackmailers under the cover of media moguls! There is a gap to be filled by a voice that will not only supersede Geo in terms of financial muscle but also the quality of programming and neutrality of its agenda. None of the present players in the market has risen up to the occasion.Most of them falling short due to their comparatively limited resources and low professionalism. Geo still thrives on the prowess of its widespread reach.However, the newcomer Bol TV network, with its claim to be “Pakistan’s imminent Number 1 media enterprise” and the market abuzz with big names in Pakistani media making the move to Bol, seems to be someone who will take on Geo TV’s tyranny by coming with a plan, HR driven policies, robust systems, state of the art infrastructure and a claim to have an independent editorial board. BOL claims to bring a technological and professional revolution in Pakistani media, which is expected to throttle the reach on its launch beyond the level attained by Geo even after decades in business. With the launch of BOL it cannot be business as usual for GEO. One thing we can be sure of is that the upcoming few months will be the one to decide the fate of Pakistani media in coming years!

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Will Apple remove ‘Geo’,’ Jang’ and ‘The News International’ iOS apps from iTunes Store?

As per CNN iReport, Apple’s motion to dismiss the case rejected by U.S Federal Court.

Apple to either remove the trademark infringing apps by Independent Media Corporation from iTunes store or face the legal proceedings

Just when you think Geo Network would not dare to create another embarrassing scene on an international level for Pakistani Media after the infamous faux pas with their rendezvous with Hindustan Times back in 2013, Geo Network proves to top their earlier mistake off by again making Pakistan’s name hit the news for all the wrong reasons. International Technological circles are abuzz with the latest Trademark Infringement suit being faced by Apple Inc for offering Geo Network’s apps: “Geo News”, “Jang” and “The News International” on iTunes store.

As per the news report on CNN iReport, Apple Inc.  is facing a legal suit (No. 1:13-CV-13130-RWZ), filed by a person named Naeem Ahmed, who claims to own the copyright and trademark usage of the terms “JANG” “GEO” and “THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL”, which happen to be the names of the applications being offered by Independent Media Corporation (Pvt) Limited (Parent company of Geo Network and Daily Jang) through the Apple’s iTunes Store.

apple Geo News iphone app trademark

Previously, Facebook also restricted access to ‘Daily Jang’ and ‘The News International’ official facebook pages in USA, UK and Canada based on the trademark infringement. Google Play, the android app market, has already removed the trademark infringing android apps from being offered in the Play Store to android users based on the trademark infringement claim. Apple, however, opted to serve a ‘Motion to Dismiss’ the trademark infringement notice, in response to which District Justice, of United States Federal Court for District of Massachusetts, has denied Apple’s “Motion to Dismiss” the complaint.

Trademark Infringement seems to merely add a “feather in the cap” for Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, owner of Geo News and Daily Jang, who is no stranger to controversy and lawsuits. Be it tax evasions and financial misrepresentation amounting to millions of Rupees or using his media enterprise for blackmailing, manipulation and promoting paid foreign agendas, the grimy history of Mir Shakeel ur Rahman’s career offers a wide array of utter disregard to laws and ethical boundaries. Despite all the evidences available and even broadcasted on online media, talk shows as well as the “Khara Sach” book published by Mubasher Lucman, the legal and regulatory authority are continuing their act of obliviousness.

Whether Apple decides to fight the legal battle or look for an out-of-settlement after the backlash by removing the controversial infringing apps of Jang, Geo and The News International from its iTunes store, the damage done to Pakistani Media Industry’s reputation and its morality has been done irrevocably by this disregard to intellectual property practiced by Geo Network on an international scale. The Government of Pakistan as well as the concerned regulatory body, PEMRA, should also take notice of the disciplinary violence of international laws at the part of Jang and Geo Network.

Geo Network / Mir Shakeel Caught RED HANDED in TRADEMARK Fraud!

  • Has GEO Network / Jang group finally LOST whatever remaining Credibility it had?

This is the latest in the series of long running devious schemes of Jang Group and Geo Network that are not panning out well in their favor. It all started with GEO being exposed on media for attempts to defame their upcoming competitor, BOL Network through publishing false allegation in their own newspapers. Further on Geo’s alleged association with RAW unveiled with the publication of the infamous Hindustan Times Story against Pakistan Army, ISI, BOL TV and businessman Aqeel Kareem Dhedi (competitor of GEO’s associate and samdhi, Jehangir Siddiqui), which Hindustan Times later took down with a clarification regretting to publish the false story. There were false anonymous lawsuits filed by GEO’s puppets against BOL network that were all thrown out by courts and all attempts to create administrative problems for BOL by misguiding the political Government went in vain (as per the website of BOL network).

NOW conspirators and believers of unfair competition in the GEO Network made another botched attempt to create a legal issue for BOL: International Media Corporation Pvt. Ltd (a.k.a Geo Network) claimed the word “BOL” to be their trademark!!! – a claim that has now come up as being based on criminal fabrication and forgery at Geo’s end. The Pandora box of GEO’s unending schemes was again re-opened on TV on 17th December 2013 on an exclusive investigative report by a news anchorperson, after disturbing facts and evidences regarding GEO’s fraud and manipulation came up as a result of a sudden raid at Trademark Office by a Nazir of the Sindh High Court on the request of BOL Network.

It all started on June 09, 2013 when the upcoming media organization BOL Network’s first official advertisement in Daily Dawn was published and created a dilemma for Jang / Geo Group when reportedly 95% of their employees applied for the jobs in this new network. Out of the insecurity and fear of upcoming competition, the conspirators in the management of Geo Network applied for the trademark of word “BOL” on June 19, 2013 as per the following application:

geo fraud application for bol trademark

Only their efforts met utter disappointment as the management of the upcoming BOL Network had already applied for  BOL’s trademark among 165 associated words back in March 2013. This disappointment caused Mir Shakil ur Rahman and his allies to resort to their tried and tested deceitful ways and they forged the registration application for “Pakistan Idol” that was submitted back in 2007 and changed it to “BOL”. Call it oversight or sheer evidence to their devious acts, the application number for both the application remained same (i.e 238904). Further they stole this complete file 238904 from the trademark office.

Geo Fraud - Comparison of Original and Fake Registry

FILE STOLEN

The Trademark office has made startling revelation to the Nazir of the Honorable Court that the complete file of GEO’s trademark application No. 238904 has been stolen from the office.

However, the Trademark office computerized diary sheet also came to light, showing the user name of trademark officers and showing that the trademark was illegally changed from Pakistan idol to BOL in July 2013, 4 months after BOL Networks application!

Geo involved in  Trademark Fraud

In November 2013, prior to the Court Nazir’s raid, GEO filed a false and fictitious lawsuit claiming on the basis of this forgery that BOL is their trademark. As per their statement under oath to the court of law, Geo Network has been planning to bring out a channel by the name of BOL itself and has already been showing the logo on air for “GEO-BOL” in their transmission since many years. It was also stated on oath that GEO Network had no idea before November 2013 that a channel named BOL existed.

Go made fake logos to commit trademark fraud

While the answers to the above asked questions are out in the open for anyone even with a common man’s diligence, the bigger and more attention seeking question is How a media enterprise committing one fraud after the other, victimizing so many institutions such as Competitor Networks & Pakistan Army and Intelligence, influencing the Judiciary with advertisements and manipulated headlines, blackmailing country’s top corporate and financial bodies like state Bank and SECP, defaulting on billions of loans and taxes, making fun of all laws and ethics, and now even putting a question mark on the corporate legal system and the security of intellectual property in Pakistan, is getting away with all this? How the government has turned an absolute blind eye to such insubordination and tyranny exercised by GEO Network and its owners! With all the evidences hitting the ceiling against GEO Network, it seems only to be a matter of time that GEO Network might trip and fell in the pit of its own dark deeds.

Mir Shakil ur Rahman GEO

LATEST UPDATE from the BATTLE – JUST IN:

As per our insider source, recently their trademarks for “Jang” “GEO” and “The News International” have been registered internationally by someone but this time very legally and without any forgery taking advantage of their weakness of not having trademark registered internationally. As a result of this acquisition of trademark, the official Facebook pages of Jang and The News International are no longer accessible in U.S.A, Canada, U.K and various other locations due to infringement of trademark rights. Additionally, Google removed the mobile application of The NEWS from its stores on the same basis. This seems like a start of a darker and rocky pathway for Geo Network and Mir Shakil ur Rahman. With this action, it seems that Bol has certainly thrown the ACE as an answer to the powerless tactical cards of GEO. Seems like again BOL has had the final word in this battle..

Geo Network’s Indian Debacle with Hindustan Times – A tale of conspiracy gone haywire!

  • Internal Investigation Report of Hindustan Times after publishing the false Dawood Ibrahim – BOL story LEAKED! 
  • GEO/Jang Owner Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, Businessman Jahangir Siddiqui and their rendezvous with Indian Intelligence & Hindustan Times Senior official unraveled.

The story mentioned below might not win an Oscar for best screenplay for a motion picture but it sure does consist of all elements for an exciting Hollywood Noir Thriller- an international conspiracy, a mafia lord, meetings in the dark of the night and a toe-curling investigation. For the sake of amusement, let’s call it the grand script for “Geo Network’s Indian Misadventure with Hindustan Times – A tale of conspiracy gone haywire!” The story is told by the leaked internal investigation report carried out by Hindustan Times after publishing an article based on nothing but thin air, that resulted in facing litigation from the offended parties. The article, that was published on Sunday – 29 September 2013, claimed that internationally renowned underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is the actual owner of the upcoming Pakistani media enterprise, BOL Network.

BOL Pakistan vs Geo India

The article was taken down within a few days after publication from Hindustan Times Website and a clarification has also been made regarding the authenticity of the claims made. It all happened when a high level internal inquiry was ordered by the chairpersons office of Hindustan times upon receiving a legal notice. The Chairperson and Editorial Director, Hindustan Times initiated an internal inquiry with the help of the Foreign editor of Hindustan Times, Pramit Pal Chaudhuri and their legal consultants Karanjawala & Co. regarding the source of this published news article and the internal source behind making this non-story a front page article. The HT enquiry team uncovered involvement of Pakistan’s Jang/Geo Media Group owner, Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, whose allegiance with an Indian intelligence official made it possible for a senior Hindustan Times Editor to get a source-less story on the front page of a nationwide newspaper as well as a headlining story on their web edition. The chairpersons office was shocked to find out that HT published a story that was already published by Jang/Geo group on their newspapers and website 90 days ago out of fear of competition that BOL has unleashed. The HT editor has no explanation for publishing that story against BOL without even referring to the rivalry and the originally published story. The story also linked Aqeel Karim Dedhi (AKD) a Pakistani businessman with Dawood Ibrahim for no reason other than the fact that there is a fierce rivalry between AKD and Mir Shakeel-ur-Rahman of Jang/Geo group along with Shakeel’s Samdhi (daughter’s father-in-law) Mr Jahangir Siddiqui. Mr AKD has filed several cases against Mir Shakeel and Jehangir Siddiqui and there is an intense fight going on between them.

This fact alone was enough for the HT enquiry team to believe that Jang/geo group is behind this publication. The following are the findings of the leaked internal investigation report of Hindustan times:

It can be safely assumed that Mir Shakeel ur Rahman sought for a way out that would tarnish the reputation of 2 of its biggest rivals (Upcoming media group BOL Media and AKD) who have already gone into defamation lawsuits against him. For this purpose, Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, using his contacts in Indian Intelligence, took a senior official of Hindustan Times, C.N. (Only Initials of the HT employee mentioned in the leaked report) into the fold and scheduled a meeting.

On Friday 27th September 2013, the scheduled meeting was held at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mumbai at 8:30 PM IST. The meeting was a hushed private affair booked under aliases to avoid trace, in a pure Hollywood Noir fashion. The said meeting was attended by the senior official of Hindustan Times (C.N.), the representative of Indian Intelligence serving the liaison role and Mr. Jahangir Siddiqui, representing Jang/Geo Group and who being a stock broker is in direct competition with Aqeel Karim Dhedi (AKD) who himself owns several stock broking firms and is his biggest business rival for many years. Mr. Jahangir Siddiqui’s visit to India was kept under wraps even from his own office staff although the source warrants his presence claiming that Mr. Siddiqui’s passport can be used as an evidence of his presence in Mumbai during the time meeting was held. Mir Shakeel ur Rahman, who was in London at that time, participated in the meeting through telephone.

It was decided that associating the underworld element of Dawood Ibrahim with the competitors of Jang/Geo and Jahangir Siddiqui, right at the time when the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers are about to meet will make a desirable impact for all the parties involved in this scheme. The material for this story came from the previous defamatory activities including the anti-BOL article once published (and taken down) by The News International and Daily jang of Jang/Geo group, three months ago.

With limited time in hand given the scheduled meeting of the premiers of both countries, the prepared article was given OK to be published as front-page news with absolutely no source quoted and no background check made in the evening of 28th September 2013. Such a hasty action was only possible through the persuading power of C.N. and overbearing pressure from intelligence given the foreseen discussions to be made in the scheduled meeting of both countries’ delegates the next day.

The news article was published in all editions of Sunday’s Hindustan Times nationwide on 29 September 2013. Catching up on the published story, few electronic media groups also broadcasted news reports regarding this story.

On 4th October 2013, the Chairperson was presented the outcome of internally conducted inspection regarding the faux pass committed by Hindustan Times. As per the inspection report, the involvement of C.N. being the lead conspirator of the news came into light, which brought him into circle of interrogation. Upon being assured job security as well as indemnification of any action, C.N. revealed that he forwarded the story for publication because of excessive pressure from intelligence, which was working in allegiance with the Pakistani Geo/Jang Media Group. Upon receiving this information, the Chairperson decided to take down the published news report from the Hindustan Times website.

When asked to comment on this removal of the story and the involvement of the Jang/Geo group, the representatives of BOL Network and Axact denied to make a comment regarding the story. Later they communicated their official response through an update posted on the “Response” page of their official website; confirming that after initiating litigation against Hindustan Times for publishing the slanderous article, Hindustan times has removed the article “realizing the fallacy of the article and maintaining high journalistic ethics.

Big Names in Pakistani Media Making the Move to BOL TV

  • Kamran Khan, Talat Hussain, Shahzeb Khanzada, Jasmine Manzoor among the names billed to be the part of BOL Network.

  • Top Management and Technical Staff of other Media Houses also rumoured to make the move.

Summer is not over yet in Pakistan but the Big Birds of Pakistani Media have already started the migration to warmer and greener pastures. With the advent of Bol Network in the Pakistani Media, a shock wave has been created, ripple effects of which can be seen throughout the media scene in Pakistan. From Newscasters & leading Anchorpersons to the top management of all leading media groups of Pakistan have allegedly signed on to become the part of , what Bol TV terms as, “The Media Revolution” in Pakistan.

As per the latest buzz in the media circles, many big names in Pakistani Television and Print industry, including Geo Network’s pioneer anchorperson Kamran Khan as well as previously associated anchorperson Sana Bucha, Express News’ Shahzeb Khanzada, Director (News) Dawn News Zahid Mazhar and Samaa TV’s previously headlining anchor Jasmine Manzoor, are billed to be the part of the upcoming Bol Network. The resignation by Express News’ senior anchorperson Talat Hussain is also reported to be a step towards joining the same group. Many renowned newscasters such as Ayesha Bukhsh and Junaid Ahmed have also been approached reportedly.

Other than the on-camera professionals, the top management and technical staff are also said to be making the move to BOL; with MD Geo Network, Azhar Abbas resigning from GEO network already rumored to already have joined BOL TV.

While few consider this pool of powerful media personalities at one platform a red flag for all other media houses who would have to face a tough competition from a newcomer in the race for ratings and ultimately, advertisement revenue; many journalists and media personalities consider the start of BOL TV a change, that will provide good working conditions and employment opportunities for the present and upcoming media professionals. Along with it, a new media house with a pool of experienced  media professionals might put an end to the tyranny created by a few media houses and will prove to be a step towards developing a more mature and responsible Pakistani media. Only the time will unfold if the claimed media revolution will do its bidding or not.

The True Story behind Managing Director GEO News Azhar Abbas’ Resignation

• “MKR Foundation Scandal for Putting Editorial Endorsement for Sale” among the Reasons for Resignation


• Expresses “desire to build an organisation that not only excels in journalism but also offers better working conditions for journalists

Rumors have become reality. The news of resignation of Managing Director Geo News, Azhar Abbas spread like the fire in the jungle among the media circles of Pakistan on Thursday, 15 August 2013. Among many issues reported by various insider sources, the infamous GeoNewsLeaks Scandal is cited as one of the main reasons for this resignation.

The buzz about Mr. Abbas’ resignation was a hot topic among media personnel, especially Geo employees, which became stronger only after Azhar Abbas was allegedly “on leave flying for vacations” in the first week of July but ended up not catching his scheduled flight. The rumor mill about him turning in his resignation grew stronger in his absence but neither Geo nor Azhar Abbas himself made any announcement.

This falling among the internal higher management caused further unrest among Geo employees when their salaries were not disbursed on time, even before Eid. The grapevine among the media circles was filled with reports of Mr. Abbas joining the upcoming BOL Network after Eid.

After much buildup and speculation, the news of his resignation was confirmed only after Mr. Azhar Abbas circulated this goodbye memo among the fellow Geo employees:

Dear Team Geo,

I write this email with a heavy heart. A heavy heart because I have come to conclusion that there is only so much that I can do for all of you, while working here.

It is only due to you that we realised the dream of making Geo the premier news channel of the country.

Any leader in my position would struggle to count their blessings. It was a rare and distinctive privilege to lead a team with such creativity, professionalism and commitment.


As you extended unflinching support to me, I assure you I was equally committed to your professional excellence and better working conditions. I acknowledge I may not have been able to deliver all I wanted. But, I am sure, this will remain an ongoing process and soon you will work under better terms and conditions.


And now for the most difficult bit: I have decided to leave and pursue other career options.


I have faith in your ability and I am sure GeoNews’s quality and place in the market will remain unaltered. No matter what you do make sure your commitment to excellence remains singular and Geo will continue to fly.


A part of me will always remain here. But I am taking with me the desire to build an organisation that not only excels in journalism but also offers better working conditions for journalists.


I wish Geo and each one of you the best of luck. I will not even try and thank you for all your hard work and support for words fail me.


Love and Regards


Yours

Azhar Abbas

While the departing memo shows no signs of bad blood or bitterness between Geo Network and Azhar Abbas, our sources inform that among many other issues, the much talked-about GEO NEWS LEAKS scandal, pertaining to the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Foundation’s plea for funding from U.S government putting its Editorial content for sale, was the main reason for his resignation. Mr. Azhar Abbas was reportedly not happy being associated with a media organization that would put its editorial board on sale, considering this act as annihilation of journalism ethics and morals. With already brought back half-heartedly after much persuasion of Geo’s higher management, the scandal served as a final boarding call for Mr. Azhar Abbas and he decided to go on with his resignation.

GEO Network blatantly violates PEMRA’s policies yet PEMRA stays silent

Petition filed against GEO Network’s channel Geo Kahani for airing objectionable content and violating PEMRA’s policies.

* GEO Network violated the PEMRA policy for all its entertainment channels.
* GEO Kahani airing more than 40% – 70% foreign content against allowed limit of 6%.
* PEMRA’s failure to enforce its policy on GEO Network is discriminatory.
* Petition demands cancellation of GEO Kahani’s license.

Violating the PEMRA policies by airing more than 40% foreign content, Pakistan’s largest law firm has filed a petition on behalf of URDU1 against ‘GEO Kahani’ which comes under the banner of GEO/Jang Network.
GEO Network is on a foreign agenda; promoting foreign content consequently Pakistan being subjected to cultural invasion.

According to PEMRA’s policy, 10% of the entire broadcast content of any entertainment channel can be foreign. Out of this, 4% of foreign content should be English and the remaining 6% can be non-English i.e. dubbed in Urdu or India.
GEO Kahani, however is clearly violating PEMRA policy by broadcasting more than 40% – 70% of foreign content as of today, even after the petition.

Holding power in the industry doesn’t give anyone the right to break laws. PEMRA being the lawful authority is responsible for taking actions against all such illegitimate activities. While in GEO’s case, no such action has taken on this open violation.

It has always been the case that GEO Group influences power circles through its dominancy. Does this mean it also has an influence on PEMRA? Is PEMRA covering GEO or will they take the stand and cancel GEO Kahani’s license in the light of this evidence!

Here’s what the petition states:

  • Geo Network violated the PEMRA policy for all entertainment channels that states that only 10% of the entire broadcasting content can be foreign out of which 4% should be English content while rest of the 6% can include Non-English (Indian or other) content.
  • The Programming of Geo Kahani, a part of Geo Network consists of more than 40% of Foreign content which consist of Indian and other non-English foreign content dubbed in Urdu – which is in clear violation of PEMRA’s aforementioned policy.
  • PEMRA has not taken any action against this blatant violation of its policies by GEO Network on account of latter’s vast influence and power.
  • GEO Network is abusing its dominant position and political influence as Pakistan’s largest media group to oust competitors.
  • PEMRA’s failure to enforce its policy on Geo Network is discriminatory, unreasonable and arbitrary – which is in clear renunciation of PEMRA Ordinance.
  • It is statutory obligation of PEMRA to ensure licenses are treated equally and fairly and do not exceed their programming mix limits imposed in their licensing terms.
  • Such absence of action will have an adverse effect on diversity of electronic media in Pakistan and choice available to viewers.