According to a state-run TV channel here on Tuesday, PEMRA spokesman termed private members meeting illegal
The spokesman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) termed May 20 meeting of its private members and their decisions as illegal.
The PEMRA spokesman’s clarification in an official statement came after media reports of a meeting of five private members of the authority in which they decided to forward recommendations seeking to suspend the licenses of Geo News, Geo Tez and Geo Entertainment.
It was also reported that the private members of PEMRA forwarded to the authority’s Council of Complaints (COC) their recommendations seeking to suspend Geo’s three licenses and to seal its offices.
Earlier, five members of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) recommended to the government to suspend the licenses of Geo News, Geo Entertainment and Geo Tez.
PEMRA’s session comprising five members suspended licenses of Geo News, Geo Entertainment and Geo Tez TV out of five TV channels owned and operated by Geo/Jang group and moved for revocation of licenses.
PEMRA member Mian Shams recommended immediate suspension and sealing of Geo’s offices. However no government member attended the meeting. Mian Shamas said that final decision regarding suspension of Geo license would be made on 28 May 28.
He said that a committee will be formed in next session to assert the authority of the chairman. He also recommended immediate suspension and sealing Geo’s offices.
He alleged that Mir Shakil tried to influence PEMRA members and the due process.
He said that PEMRA has also said the recommendations to Geo/Jang group seeking response by May 28 when the final decision will be taken. He alleged that Mir Shakil wanted private members of PEMRA to decide on the issue in order to influence the process and seek a favourable decision.
Another member Israr Abbasi alleged that Mir Shakil tried to call
PEMRA members individually but he refused to answer the call.
Earlier, Council of Complaints Karachi chapter also recommended revoking Geo TV’s license over airing of allegedly blasphemous content.
The recommendation was made by complaints council Karachi following the complaints and reports of allegedly blasphemous content on Geo’s morning show.
PEMRA had slammed Geo TV with a show-cause notice for allegedly airing blasphemous content, seeking immediate explanation.
The show-cause notice was issued by PEMRA over the objectionable content broadcasted in Geo Entertainment’s morning show ‘Utho Jago Pakistan’.
According to PEMRA spokesperson, over 10,000 complaints were received against the show. The complaints were sent to the Complaint Council for review, seeking apt recommendations.
It merits mentioning here that a session comprising 5 PEMRA members is underway in Islamabad deliberating over the issue. PEMRA member Israr Abbasi said prior to joining the session that he hopes the committee reaches a consensus over the issue.
Geo TV came under immense criticism following the allegedly blasphemous content in its morning broadcast. The aftermath saw several protests across the country and registration of dozens of cases pleading courts to invoke blasphemy laws against the accused.
Following the orders of Islamabad Additional Session Judge Jahangir Awan, Margalla Police Station Islamabad registered the case against Geo TV under blasphemy law sections 295-A, 295-C, 298-A and seven Anti-Terrorism Court sections on May 17.