Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday suspended Geo News for 15 days and imposed `10 million fine on the channel for defaming the army and the ISI.
“The license of Geo News has been suspended by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority for a period of 15 days. PEMRA has also imposed a fine of `10 million on the TV channel,” said a PEMRA spokesman.
According to the, the authority took the decision in a meeting chaired by acting chairman Pervez Rathore.
Taking note of the complaint by the defence ministry of the country against the channel, the regulatory authority suspended the licence of Geo News for 15 days.
PEMRA’s private members were not present at the meeting and it was attended only by members from the government.
According to a statement by Geo News, the channel was not provided any evidence to prove defamation nor was its stance heard by PEMRA, which it adds, has already been punishing Geo News which has been shut in 90 per cent of Pakistan for the last 45 days. The statement added that the channel has already apologised and had incurred `2 billion in losses.
The move to suspend channel’s licence came a day after it served a legal notice against the ISI for defamation over accusations of being anti-state.
Geo News, part of the privately-owned Jang Group, has also given the ISI 14 days to issue a public apology.
“Geo and Jang Group (have) served a legal notice on the ministry of defence, ISI and PEMRA for defaming and maligning the group,” the channel said.
In April, the defence ministry had demanded that the license of Geo News be suspended.