WEB DESK – The Ministry of Defence has asked the head-less Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory (PEMRA) to cancel the broadcasting licence of Geo Television Network for campaigning against the national security institutes.
The decision came just hours later after chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif visited the Directorate General of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and received a very important briefing amid Geo’s allegation of dragging DG ISI Lt General Zahirul Islam in the alleged murder attempt on Hamid Mir.
The PEMRA, which to this day has no chairman as Chaudhry Rashid Ahmed was sacked by the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain on April 18, confirmed the receiving the request.
It is first time in the history of Pakistan that a government ministry had filed request to block a private television. However, when contacted the sources from defence ministry confirmed that the request was filed on behalf of the secretary defence Lt General (rtd) Asim Yasin Malik.
When asked whether the political leadership i.e. minister of defence and the prime minister was on the same page in the request against Geo, the source abstained from commenting anything.
It is pertinent to mention here that ISI does not report to the defence minister or the ministry rather the premier spy agency is directly answerable to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Moreover, the sources privy to Geo administration maintained that the strongest rebuttal of Geo in PEMRA’s proceeding, if any, would be the absence of its permanent chairman and the relation of defence ministry with the ISI.
However, one legal expert of PEMRA (name kept anonymous on request) told PakistanTribe that ‘go slow’ would be the policy on this request.
Earlier, the request against Geo stated that the channel deliberately run a baseless campaign against defence institution, adding that tried to link the institution with terrorists.