Why ARY channels have been shut down in UK?
ISLAMABAD: (APP) Six licences of ARY network had been revoked by Britain's media regulator Ofcom in the UK, three weeks after the ARY went into liquidation and its Chief Operating Officer in the UK applied for bankruptcy after losing 3million Pound libel case to Geo and Jang Group's Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman (MSR) at the London High Court two months ago.
Ofcom announced its decision on Thursday that ARY's license had been revoked but three of ARY channels in the UK - ARY Digital, ARY News and ARY QTV - were removed from Sky and Virgin Media on Monday, according to a TV report received here on Thursday.
The closure of ARY came after the London High Court ordered it to pay 185,000 Pounds in libel damages to Mir Shakilur Rehman in relation to seriously defamatory allegations broadcasted in 24 programmes which the court found defamatory, libellous and baseless.
The Judge Justice Sir Eady also asked the ARY to pay legal fees to Mr Rahman's lawyers as well as success fees.
The judge made the decision after ARY accepted that it had no evidence to support its allegations and that it didn't defend the allegations at all. The total cost to ARY in full was around Rs 40 crore, around 3 million Pounds. The total cost of ARY's bankruptcy was 5 million Pounds.
Geo and Jang's MSR brought defamation case against ARY in UK after the channel, through Khara Sach programme, started a highly dangerous and vindictive campaign in November 2013, using Islam and patriotism as a tool.
The channel repeatedly alleged that MSR was an agent of Indian intelligence agency RAW, Israel's Mosaad and American CIA.
ARY had alleged that MSR was guilty of the criminal offence of treason, having conspired with Indian intelligence agencies and other agencies; was disloyal to Pakistan; committed blasphemy; offered to broadcast the American intelligence agency's choice of television programmes as if they were a public service campaign, in return for payment, thereby deceiving the Pakistani people; was involved in attempting to destroy evidence at the crime scene of the attack on Hamid Mir; and ridiculed the teachings of Islam.
ARY specifically stressed that Geo and Jang were traitors and defamed Islam. ARY incited violence against MSR alleging that he was a blasphemer and had defamed Islam.