US accuses Pakistan’s Geo TV of bias


Islamabad : The US has accused private Pakistani channel Geo TV of bias in reporting America’s efforts to ameliorate the sufferings of the millions of civilians who have been displaced by the military’s anti-Taliban operations in the country’s northwest.

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In an interview with a Geo TV correspondent after visiting a refugee camp near Mardan in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), US special envoy Richard Holbrooke advised the channel to tell the truth to Pakistanis about the huge financial assistance Washington was providing for the displaced persons.

Holbrooke said the US was now the single largest donor to help the displaced people and Geo TV should highlight this fact.

“Geo should not be anti-US and should now tell the truth as well and inform the people that the US had provided more than half the total help given by all the countries,” the envoy maintained.

A Geo TV spokesman said the channel had always informed the people of Pakistan of the truth and Holbrooke’s criticism was unjustified.

Some 3 million civilians have been displaced by the military’s anti-Taliban operations in the Swat, Buner and Lower Dir districts of the NWFP that began April 26.

The US, which has already committed $110 million for the refugees, has promised another $200 million, subject to Congressional approval.

The UN estimates that some $543 million would be required for the relief effort.