Geo’s licenses suspended till May 28: PEMRA

Published: May 20, 2014

Speaking to the media after holding protests the whole day, members of Pemra strictly said that they are an independent entity and like to make decisions as such.

ISLAMABAD: 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.

They also stated that they will seal the TV channel’s offices.

“I would like to congratulate all of Pemra’s private members for making this decision, keeping in mind Pemra’s rules and regulations as well as Pakistan’s constitution,” said Pemra private member, Mian Shams.

Speaking to the media after holding meetings the whole day, Shams said that Pemra is an independent entity and will make decisions as such.

“Pemra is an independent organisation, and it would have been better if a government representative attended today’s meeting as well and help us come up with a decision,” he said.

Shams lamented that apart from him, only four other private members of the media authority attended today’s meeting which included Israr Abbasi from Azad Kashmir, Shama Parveen from Balochistan, Zeba Hussain from Sindh and Fariha Iftikhar from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). He added that it was the government’s job to implement the recommendation.

The private member said the recommendation has been sent to the Council of Complaints (CoC) and their recommendations are expected to be returned in a week’s time.

Moreover, he said that once the recommendations come back, a special committee will be formed to make a final decision regarding Geo TV’s licenses.

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. 

Reader Comments (67)

  • A Journalist
    May 20, 2014 - 8:37PM

    I dont know I am sad or Happy on suspension of Geo licence . Its time media learn . Enough is enough for God’s Sake in lust for ratings dont cross limits. If media is 4th piller of the state ,act like one. you are the most powerful pillar . you effect 20 million people. Instead of becomming threat to ideological and Physical boundaries of Pakistan be a defender. All media outlets need introspection.
    Plz be mature

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  • Muhammad Faisal
    May 20, 2014 - 8:38PM

    Thanks to PEMRA. They deserve this punishment. Now may be something fruitful happen in Pakistani media. At least such program will be shown in the boundary of Islam.

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  • Saleem
    May 20, 2014 - 8:39PM

    It is a shame the game these guys play. These PEMRA members need to be fired.

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  • Yasir
    May 20, 2014 - 8:41PM

    Finally…….

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  • ali
    May 20, 2014 - 8:42PM

    Good Riddance (FINALLY)

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  • I am a Khan
    May 20, 2014 - 8:44PM

    Shaishta Lodhi was the last straw that broke the camel’s (Geo’s) Back.
    Good to see that irresponsible and blasphemous behaviour is being punished.

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  • fawad
    May 20, 2014 - 8:46PM

    I am against total ban on geo but they should be punished at the same time. Temporary suspension for few days or a monetary fine will do the job.

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  • Raisani
    May 20, 2014 - 8:47PM

    Just an other Eyewash!!! They r just giving lollipop.

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  • Terrymander
    May 20, 2014 - 8:47PM

    I agree with what everyone here says- censorship is bad but media houses need to act responsibly as well in line with industry standards- if they cant they should go!
    I really like GEO but only if they changed their name to GEO gup instead of GEO News.

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  • Observor
    May 20, 2014 - 8:49PM

    LOST THE HOPE OF FREE AND FAIR SOCIETY……UNFORTUNATELY ALL THE MEDIA HOUSES LOST THEIR CREDIBILITY BY DEFAMING EACHOTHER. GOD MERCY ON PAKISTAN “THE LAND OF PURE”.

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  • Mubashir
    May 20, 2014 - 8:52PM

    Good move. Media has to learn to respect the Country’s institutions. It’s job is reporting. Courts Judge.. Media can not be let loose, that experiment failed when Media sensationalized and overstepped all cultural. moral and ethical values. Pakistan is not for Sale!

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  • Mubashir
    May 20, 2014 - 8:57PM

    What Lucman fails to take note of is the fact that ‘Ali keh saath’, a qawwali popularised by Amjab Sabri, is a common recitation at Shia weddings particularly in the rural areas.

    This is due to the qawwali’s general matrimonial theme, and not because it’s intended to compare the bride and groom to personalities of religious significance. Geo neither composed the qawwali, nor invented the tradition of using it in weddings.

    This point should be easy for warring media houses to understand, given that old videos have surfaced on the internet of multiple channels airing similar instances with the same qawwali.

    That said, it is understandable that those who are not accustomed to the tradition may be offended, and it was prudent of Geo to apologise given the prevailing environment.

    Unfortunately, this accusation sets a dangerous new precedent.

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  • May 20, 2014 - 8:59PM

    Geo Tv licenses Suspended By PEMRA – 20th May 2014
    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.
    Speaking to the media after holding meetings the whole day, Pemra private member Mian Shams said that Pemra is an independent entity and will make decisions as such.
    “Pemra is an independent organisation, and it would have been better if a government representative attended today’s meeting as well and help us come up with a decision,” he said.
    Shams lamented that apart from him, only four other private members of the media authority attended today’s meeting which included Israr Abbasi from Azad Kashmir, Shama Parveen from Balochistan, Zeba Hussain from Sindh and Fariha Iftikhar from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
    The Pemra official said the recommendation has been sent to the CoC and their recommendations are expected to be returned in a week’s time.
    Moreover, he said that once the recommendations come back, a special committee will be formed to make a final decision regarding Geo TV’s licenses.

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  • Asad Shairani
    May 20, 2014 - 8:59PM

    Shame on the so-called ‘liberal’ media which didn’t support GEO at this time. An institution bullying it and all the media can do is find excuses for them to do so.

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  • Guddu
    May 20, 2014 - 9:10PM

    Hasta La Vista Geo….:)

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  • Black Swan
    May 20, 2014 - 9:11PM

    Unfortunately a black day for democracy and freedom of expression in Pakistan.

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  • Omar Khurshid
    May 20, 2014 - 9:12PM

    Well done Imran Khan!! Well done PEMRA!!

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  • K Alam
    May 20, 2014 - 9:21PM

    This is an unfortunate decision and will affect a number of people. Nevertheless, this is the outcome an irresponsible attitude of people sitting at helm of the affairs as well as their adamant and inflexible behaviour.

    No one must be considered above law.

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  • gohar abbas
    May 20, 2014 - 9:21PM

    next might be ur turn.

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  • Nazir
    May 20, 2014 - 9:24PM

    It should be banned permanently for its anti state behavior. Media should be free but responsible.

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  • Pakistani
    May 20, 2014 - 9:26PM

    Well done…ban jang and geo once and for all….ban all the morning shows..these are good for nothing

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  • Troubled
    May 20, 2014 - 9:31PM

    Stupidity galore. Pakistan, dig a hole, stick your head in it. That is the world you think that exists.

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  • Nadeem
    May 20, 2014 - 9:35PM

    What on Earth is happening in this country?????? Is PEMRA out of its mind!! A very, very shameful moment for this country!!!!

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  • jax
    May 20, 2014 - 9:46PM

    let me tell you the end of the story, geo licenses reinstated with final warning notice etc. They are banned to please mullahs who have been asking to ban geo..

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  • Bhulla
    May 20, 2014 - 9:48PM

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH looks like a joke in the land of pure. Allah hi hafeez hay Pakistan ka.

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  • Amer
    May 20, 2014 - 9:54PM

    Let law take its course on God’s earth. Let the authority administer the law it has been entrusted to enforce. Let the charge-sheet be presented. Let the accused defend itself, if it can. If not, let it suffer the punishment. Let it repent, and demonstrate to others what does it cost to run an unbridled news enterprise, with thinly veiled semblance of a boisterous theatre company. Let the trumpets blow announcing to the whole world that the accused has been summoned by the judge to answer for its acts of omission and commission. Why be sad over this. After all, it is the ‘breaking news’ of the day.

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  • Good Human
    May 20, 2014 - 10:04PM

    Goood.
    May this ban forever. amen

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  • The One
    May 20, 2014 - 10:08PM

    Dumb, dumb, dumb. History keeps repeating itself, media keeps getting clamped, Pakistanis remain happy being ignorant. Who needs foreign aid for destruction of Pakistan, we’re good enough to destroy it on our own.

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  • nadeem
    May 20, 2014 - 10:08PM

    ““Pemra is an independent organisation, …”

    Yes we know how independent it is. Down with the Deep StateRecommend

  • Strategic Asset
    May 20, 2014 - 10:19PM

    In Pakistan, the Army & ISI always wins.

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  • Paa Pakistani
    May 20, 2014 - 10:20PM

    atleast i can live somedays without Geo’s Propaganda news now!

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  • Asfandyar Khan
    May 20, 2014 - 10:35PM

    Now I can die in peaceRecommend

  • Sara Khan
    May 20, 2014 - 10:39PM

    Thank God

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  • May 20, 2014 - 10:44PM

    Nonsense, how the licenses could be suspended without issuing notice and giving an opportunity to reply. This will not stand before judiciary. It is like closing the courts because sixty eight lawyers are charged under blasphemy. What about ARY, it repeated the video hundred times enabling all Pakistanis to view.

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  • salman
    May 20, 2014 - 10:46PM

    Not Good .. silly move by GOP .. wont bear fruitful results

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  • naeem khan
    May 20, 2014 - 10:51PM

    a day of shame for freedom and shame on express for being part of the malicious campaignRecommend

  • B
    May 20, 2014 - 10:57PM

    Geo was the first and only channel in Pakistan to confirm India’s accusations that Pakistan was behind the Mumbai attack. They not only showed this village but his parents also. On this GOP had to finally come out clean that yes it was hatched in Pakistan.

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  • javed afridi
    May 20, 2014 - 11:05PM

    Biased reporting, Shame on you ET. From now onwards, I’ll never believe any of your news item unless I counter check.

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  • salim
    May 20, 2014 - 11:10PM

    About time!

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  • Aam Aadmi
    May 20, 2014 - 11:12PM

    Once again proven that the cronies appointed during PPP’s tenure were totally incompetent.

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  • uzair
    May 20, 2014 - 11:19PM

    I live in the west, and I’m all for freedom of speech. But even in west, with powerful media, CIA or it’s head is not outrightly accused of attempted murder. Moreover, GEO plays duopoly. They say, we asked for forgivness, so let us go. Well, if Musharaf ask for this forgiveness, should he be forgiven? Or that speech of Khawja Asif that geo said was made years ago and made to be seen as a recent speech was bad…. Then why do they show Musharaf with hand over his head? Those pictures were years ago and Musharaf was just fixing hair. Point is, GEO presents his idea without being impartial. Plus, one time a GEO numainda was trying to ask question from ex military guy and that’s ok, but he was teasing him, laughing at him on camera, kept annoying him and threating an army guy by angrily saying not to touch him, because he’s part of media. (shown on capital talk).I watch GEO everyday and the amount of hate spurred at army is questionable. HOWEVER, there are only a few handful people at geo that are ruining the program and should be fired than entire channel shut down. ET pls publish my voice. GEO and other pro-geo news websites are vastly approving comments that are to their taste (Irony = they talk about freedom!)

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  • Khan
    May 20, 2014 - 11:24PM

    That’s excellent news

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  • Asif
    May 20, 2014 - 11:28PM

    It appeared for a while that “freedom of press” meant that they have a free hand and are not accountable to anyone. They overstepped and they need to face the music
    Congratulations to PEMRA for making the rule of the law prevail. It

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  • Beck
    May 20, 2014 - 11:44PM

    Establishment has spoken. Koi shak!

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  • Kaleem
    May 20, 2014 - 11:45PM

    Bye Bye Democracy, Welcome Martial Law. First Milestone achieved, many more to come. Keep on eye on supporting actors, IK, Religious parties, PML (Q) all alive now. Waiting for Lion to sleep to attack.

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  • uzair
    May 20, 2014 - 11:56PM

    I also want to add that Geo has been complaining that ARY did the same blashemy material earlier… If one does wrong, second does too, it does not make it right. If musharaf called martial law, is it ok for Raheel for call martial law? Then Raheel says that Musharaf called it, so can he? Can two wrongs make a right? Why didn’t GEO object to other channels airing similar content (blamed express too!), but now? Like they say why Imran took a year to levy elections allegations over GEO. see the double policy?

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  • logic Europe
    May 21, 2014 - 12:05AM

    The same geo virtually brought PPP government down. Don’t forget the arrogance shown by humid Mir and kam ran khan The actions of geo tantamount to mutiny and it should be punished And Zardari sabar KA phal meetha!!

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  • Irfan
    May 21, 2014 - 12:19AM

    @Khan Ahmed: Show cause notice was issued to GEO and their written reply was also taken on the case. This case is open since April 19 and due proceedings have been insured before taking this decision

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  • Shame
    May 21, 2014 - 1:00AM

    Shame!

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  • May 21, 2014 - 2:26AM

    @A Journalist:
    Its a lie that media is a 4rth pillar of state.

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  • May 21, 2014 - 3:26AM

    its about time that media and internet be filtered for offensive material and immoral contents

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  • Zen
    May 21, 2014 - 5:38AM

    @uzair:
    If you live in the West, than tell me: who brought down Richard Nixon, USA President. Do you think that was right or wrong.

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  • B
    May 21, 2014 - 5:50AM

    If the same Geo had accused the government of the day, all commentors here will switch sides and praise Geo. This is the sate of mind in Pakistan.

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  • Mj
    May 21, 2014 - 7:36AM

    Shameful conduct from the mods by censoring pro freedom of expression comments.

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  • khurram
    May 21, 2014 - 7:45AM

    Shame on Express News and Express TV for the role they played.
    Used to be my favorite liberal media outlet.
    Will never trust it again.
    Lost credibilty when it became an ISI mouthpiece

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  • water bottle
    May 21, 2014 - 9:54AM

    Express, don’t rejoice, you are next.

    You will understand what it feels to be the receiving end of injustice, as you gave to Geo.Recommend

  • Talha
    May 21, 2014 - 10:12AM

    @Bhulla:
    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean disrespecting religious personalities without even thinking.

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  • kaka
    May 21, 2014 - 10:29AM

    Its surprising that PML N troll is missing in comments

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  • Jehangir Jawaid
    May 21, 2014 - 11:00AM

    Geo Group was spreading fire instead of making things calm. I dont know by whom they are contiously consulted wrongly. Pemra has done absolutely rite. Geo has no right to get decisions always in their favor.

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  • Muhammad Ali
    May 21, 2014 - 12:18PM

    Media is no 4th pillar. Media is a corporate entity mostly that is open to government taxation and public inspection like any other private profit seeking organization. This is the truth.

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  • W.A
    May 21, 2014 - 12:21PM

    I do not understand how suspending GEO’s licenses is linked with democracy. Democracy does not mean crossing limits of freedom of speech to hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan. The narrative being put forward by handful GEO trolls has no merit, the issue is simple that GEO has committed violation of the terms and conditions of their licence in accordance with section 20(e) of the Pemra Ordinance, 2002 and now they are facing the music for the violation committed. Please do not link the issue of GEO TV with Democracy in Pakistan, there is no correlation between the two. GEO TV is not the fourth pillar of the State and they are certainly not above the law.

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  • Sehrish
    May 21, 2014 - 12:25PM

    Please Ban GEO

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  • MAyOr
    May 21, 2014 - 1:24PM

    @Irfan: Do u even know the complete course of action ? Once the show cause is issued & the reply is submitted then again show cause is issued and the inquiry is conducted.. dude in which world are u living ?

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  • riz
    May 21, 2014 - 2:29PM

    A temporary ban would do the job. Freedom of speech has become the tool to try anyone in this country.

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  • Fatemah
    May 21, 2014 - 10:56PM

    For God’s sake, are Pakistanis mad?

    Shouting so much for blasphemy that too unintentional and apologised for. What about the inappropriate Pashto and punjabi films, style 360 modelling, dances in ary award shows? Are these Islamic? If saying iddat widdat is wrong according to Islamic principles what about these dances and cocktail dresses. Have these become Islamic suddenly or showing alcohol or mujras in dramas is suddenly ok?

    Once apologised this should be forgotten and left to be decided in Allah’s court. And as for the morning shows, these should be immediately banned on EVERY channel having useless topics and vain idle talk.

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  • Jehangir Jawaid
    May 22, 2014 - 9:11AM

    I was reading the news paper of Jung just to see what news they are publishing? and i was not wonder to see 70% of news they published were their face saving and blackmailing the authorities and institutions.
    Geo Must be baned now atleast for 190 days :D

    Recommend

  • Timorlane
    May 22, 2014 - 10:56AM

    Nevertheless it still seems that geo will never give up its asha for india come what may

    Recommend

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