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Pakistan suspends 3 Geo TV channels for allegations against ISI

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 - 10:57pm IST | Place: ISLAMABAD | Agency: PTI
The licences of three television channels of the Geo TV network were today suspended by Pakistan's electronic media watchdog for levelling allegations against the country's powerful spy agency ISI.

The licences of three television channels of the Geo TV network were today suspended by Pakistan's electronic media watchdog for levelling allegations against the country's powerful spy agency ISI.

Geo News, Geo Tez and Geo Entertainment have been targeted by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Mian Shams, a PEMRA member, told reporters.

"The licenses of these three channels have been suspended and these channels have been ordered to be taken off air," Shams said.

A committee formed by PEMRA suspended the licences of the three television channels owned by the Geo TV network.

"The committee, which included Syed Ismail Shah, Pervez Rathore and Israr Abbasi, was tasked to review the Ministry of Defence's application filed against Geo TV network for levelling allegations against an intelligence agency of Pakistan," Dawn News reported without naming ISI.

However, last month Pakistan's leading news anchor who works for Geo TV Hamid Mir, who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, had said that he faced threats from both non-state and state actors including the powerful spy agency ISI.

The suspension is to stay in effect until May 28, when another session of the committee will be called to decide on the final decision regarding cancellation of the licences.

Following the attack on Mir, Jang group which owns Geo TV had said, "We also want to bring it on the record that the ISI has been continuously and strongly complaining to our senior editors against some of our senior journalists, particularly against Hamid Mir. We will prove this and many other things at the proper time."

Geo was already under pressure for blaming ISI for attacking its lead anchorman Mir when it was last week blamed for committing blasphemy in one of its morning shows.
Geo channel staged a mock marriage ceremony of controversial actress Veena Malik as a religious song was played in the background.


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