Wednesday Apr 23, 2014

Shut down Geo, Pemra asked on ISI complaint

ISLAMABAD: On the complaint of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Defence Ministry on Tuesday directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to take action against the Geo TV network for levelling allegations against the ISI.

According to an official source, the application was submitted to the media regulator under Sections 33 and 36 of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 after approval from the Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.

The application sought legal action against the channel management for framing allegations against the ISI and its DG Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam.According to a statement, the ministry also provided the authority with the relevant evidence suggesting the media group’s involvement in tarnishing the image of the intelligence agency.

“The news channel has breached the code of conduct by accusing Director General (DG) of the ISI Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam of masterminding the attempt on senior journalist Hamid Mir,” the statement said. It added that action would be taken against the channel’s editorial and management team.

“All those who are involved in the mala fide broadcast, riddled with baseless allegations, will be taken to task,” the statement said.Meanwhile, in a statement, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan declared the recent murder attempt on Hamid Mir a tragedy not only for the channel and family, but also for journalists and the entire nation.

He, however, took exception to the way the issue of the murder attempt on Hamid Mir had been used as a springboard to malign national institutions without concrete evidence.He pointed out that there was no justification for the allegations when the government had already set up a three-member judicial commission.

Meanwhile, Nisar remarked that there was no precedent in any country of the way important defence institutions were criticised and targeted and allegations levelled against them.“The propaganda against the institutions by some particular circles was exploited and propagated by the enemies the world over,” he noted.

The interior minister said when officers and Jawans of the defence forces were sacrificing their lives and shedding blood for Pakistan, this one-sided and negative propaganda was not only a matter of concern, but also condemnable.“When the government has established a judicial commission what’s the purpose of such allegations,” he asked.