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Blocked Pakistan TV station back on air

  • Story Highlights
  • Aaj TV back on air after shutdown for using two banned journalists
  • Government yet to give explanation for blocking broadcasts
  • President took several stations off air during last year's state of emergency
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- A Pakistani television cable and satellite channel resumed programming Saturday morning, several hours after it was abruptly shut down for reportedly upsetting the president.

File photo of journalist Nusrat Javed

Aaj TV's programming was interrupted Friday night after it allowed two broadcasters banned by the government to appear, a station official said. Talat Hussain, executive director of news and current affairs for Aaj TV, said Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf disapproved of the journalists.

Instead of programming, viewers were greeted with the message announcing the suspension of broadcasts.

There was no immediate word from the station of the government about why or exactly when the programming was resumed. It was seen by CNN journalists in Islamabad Saturday morning.

Musharraf's spokesman, Maj. Gen. Rashid Qureshi, said Friday evening that he was unaware of the incident and would contact media regulators about the suspension of transmission.

Aaj TV was taken off the air at 10 p.m. (10 a.m. ET), Hussain said.

Hussain said the regulatory authority had called Aaj TV and warned the station against allowing the broadcasters on the air. The station rejects the ban because it violates media regulations, he said. The journalists were identified as Nusrat Javed and Mushtaq Minaz.

Musharraf suspended Javed from broadcasting earlier this month because of critical comments he made about the president, according to the Pakistani Web site, PK Politics. It was not immediately known why Minaz was banned.

When Musharraf declared a nationwide state of emergency on November 3, he took independent television networks off the air. They were later allowed to resume service.

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Musharraf said he took the actions "for the good of Pakistan," stressing that the nation was threatened by rising tensions and spreading terrorism.

But government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, and opposition leaders said Musharraf took the action days before a Supreme Court ruling that would have nullified the October presidential results. Musharraf dismissed the court judges as part of his order. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Ingrid Formanek and Zein Basravi contributed to this report

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