Fact-check: Neither was Shahzeb Khanzada’s show censored, nor removed from YouTube
Updated Thursday Nov 17 2022
Politicians from the PTI claim on social media that Geo Television has taken down a prime-time program from YouTube, which investigated the whereabouts of state gifts sold by former prime minister Imran Khan.
The claim is false.
On November 17, politicians, belonging to the opposition political party, the PTI, alleged that Geo Television has removed from its YouTube channel episodes of its prime-time show, "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath".
In these episodes, journalist Shahzeb Khanzada raised questions about the controversy surrounding gifts given by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to former prime minister Imran Khan in the year 2019. To which the former prime minister responded that the story was “baseless” and he planned to sue Geo and Khanzada in Pakistan, but UAE and the United Kingdom.
Today, Muzzammil Aslam, PTI’s spokesperson on economy and finance, asked on Twitter why Geo had deleted the program from YouTube. “Why is it censoring the Farooq Umar part in UK transmission,” Aslam asked, “Clearly free speech people are not confident.”
The tweet has received over 1,000 retweets and 2,000 likes.
Separately, the former information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, who is also a senior leader of the PTI, wrote on social media that Geo’s program about the Toshakhana case has been censored by the channel in London.
The allegations are incorrect.
Geo Fact Check reached out to Muaaz Ahsan, the director of programming at Geo Television in Karachi. Geo Fact Check asked him if videos of the show, aired on November 15 and 16 had been removed from YouTube. He responded that the videos had not been removed.
Geo Fact Check also found both videos on YouTube. The length of the one aired on November 15 is 41 minutes 13 seconds and that aired on November 16 is 42 minutes 32 seconds.
Geo Fact Check also asked Ahsan if both the shows had been aired in their entirety in the UK transmission of the television channel, to which he replied that they had been.
Meanwhile the managing director of Geo Television, Azhar Abbas, also tweeted that there was no “shred of truth that Shahzeb’s show was removed from YouTube or censored on Geo International beam.”
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