ISLAMABAD (20th May 2014) Tuesday : The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Tuesday announced that it has suspended Geo News, Geo Entertainment and Geo Tez’s licenses till May 28, Express News reported.
Pemra canceled licence of three channels ( Geo news, Geo Tezz, Geo Entertainment) ::
PEMRA has finally responded to the countless complaints against Geo TV by Pakistanis from all over the world. Licenses of three Geo TV channels are suspended including Geo News, Geo Entertainment and Geo Tez. The suspension is valid until the next session by PEMRA for the final decision on 28th May, 2014.
According to members of PEMRA, they received huge number of complaints against the Blasphemy content that Geo TV played in a morning show hosted by Shaista Lodhi called Utho Jago Pakistan. The content directly hit the sentiments of religious people of the country and even fatwas against Geo TV are released by Muslim Scholars. Some of the indian channels are saying that the suspension of the licenses is caused due to ISI (Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency) which is totally false. Geo TV’s licenses are cancelled solely because of countless complaints PEMRA received.
Geo TV licenses suspended
Confusion surrounds PEMRA decision
There was some confusion regarding the decision to suspend Geo TV when the government late on Tuesday released a statement apparently from PEMRA which disowned the decision by the members and claimed that Tuesday’s meeting had no legal standing.
According to a PEMRA statement issued by the Press Information Department late on Tuesday, it read that the regulatory body “disowns the decisions announced by three members of PEMRA on cancelling Geo TV’s licenses.”
The statement, which did not carry any signature of a competent authority or otherwise, further said that a majority of the body’s members had decided in their May 9, 2014, meeting to refer the case to the Ministry of Law for a legal opinion.
“The complaint against Geo Entertainment was already referred to the Council of Complaints Sindh. The CoC in its meeting called today has already recommended about status of Geo’s license. The minutes of the CoC are awaited and the Authority would consider this matter in the next schedule meeting,” the statement read.
The statement further clarified that Tuesday’s meeting of the members was “called without following the laid down procedures and thus had no legal standing.”
It said that according to Rule 3(4) of PEMRA Rules 2009, the chairman or as the case may be more than half of the total members can call the meeting, that is seven of the 12 members can call a meeting.
The statement said that Tuesday’s meeting was an informal meeting attended only by five members.
“The Executive Member was not even asked to officially convene the meeting and notify it through the Secretary to the Authority which is the set procedure.”
The statement declared that Tuesday’s meeting was convened by the members without any official intimation or invitation to other members in accordance with the procedure.