Iftikhar – to take illegal decisions in such haste?
It appears that there is a tussle going on between Nawaz Sharif and Deep State and Mian Sahib intends to win this battle. The GEO vs ISI boxing match will be watched with intense interest. Our bet is that GEO will die but will come back stronger after the pause. The reason is that while people may worship the army (just like in India they worshipped the Nehru family), secret power centers will eventually fade away. The army will one day return to its rightful place- within the barracks. We can hope.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on
Tuesday disowned the decisions announced by its three members regarding
cancellation of licences of three television channels owned by the Geo
In a press statement
issued here, the media regulatory body referred to the media talks held
by three private members – Israr Abbassi, Mian Shams and Fareeha
Iftikhar – in front of Pamra headquarters earlier today.
spokesman for the regulatory body had also said in a statement that the
meeting called today had no legal validity “since it was not called
officially in spirit of Rule 3(4) of Pemra Rules 2009.”
According to the Pemra rules listed on its website, a meeting of the regulatory body can be convened on the request of at least one half of its total membership.
The press release issued by Pemra said the majority of authority
members in 95th meeting held on May 9 had decided to refer the case to
the ministry of law for legal opinion.
“The decision of seeking
opinion from the Law Division was taken in all fairness to avoid any
future legal consequences in such a critical issue.” The complaint against Geo Entertainment was already referred to the Council of Complaints (CoC) Sindh.
CoC in its meeting called on Tuesday had already recommended about the
status of Geo’s licence. The minutes of the CoC were awaited and the
Authority would consider this matter in the next scheduled meeting,” the
press release added.
The Pamra clarified that Tuesday’s meeting was called without following the laid down procedures and thus had no legal standing. 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 i.e. out of
twelve members at least seven members can call a meeting. This was an informal meeting attended by five members, said the regulatory body.
Executive Member was not even asked to officially convene the meeting
and notify it through the Secretary to the Authority, which was the set
procedure,” the release said.
The meeting convened by these
members was without any official intimation or invitation to other
members in accordance with the procedure, it added.
Authority’s committee was functioning and was exercising the power of
Chairman in day to day affairs and taking decisions with requisite
quorum,” it said.
Speaking at the press conference, private Pemra member Israr Abbasi,
who attended the meeting, had said that one-third members were present
today, which he claimed was enough to complete the quorum.
Abbasi said government members did not attend the meeting.
their announcement, the members said that a final decision on the
revocation of the licences will be announced following a meeting on May
28, which will also be attended by government representatives.
committee formed by Pemra was tasked to review the Ministry of
Defence’s application filed against Geo TV network for leveling
allegations against an intelligence agency of Pakistan.
“All members (present) today unanimously decided that the licence for
Geo News be cancelled. However, due to a legal formality that could not
be completed, we have sent our recommendations to the Council of
Complaints, advising that they respond before May 28, the date for our
next meeting,” said Mian Shamsur Rehman, a member of the committee.
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, they said.
“On May 28 during our
next meeting, we will give a final decision on (cancelling licences of)
Geo News, Geo Tez and Geo Entertainment,” said Shamsur Rehman.
said there were members representing the public and the provinces at
the meeting which resulted in the suspension of Geo News, Geo Tez and
Speaking to a private TV channel, Abbasi added
that in the next meeting the legal process against Geo would be decided
upon, and until then, the group’s licenses will remain suspended.
said that there was no need to refer this decision to the law division
as Pemra has been given the authority to take such a decision.