Defence ministry favours heftier fine against Geo TV
ISLAMABAD: The defence ministry has recommended the introduction of a harsher and stiffer penalty against Geo Television by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) in an application to the country’s attorney general.
The attorney general is likely to forward the application to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today.
Talking to the Daily Express, Defence Secretary Asif Yaseen said Geo received a “light punishment” from Pemra as compared to its crime, which the network had confessed to. This, he said, violates the Pemra Ordinance.
Yaseen said the defence ministry decided to approach the court since it was dissatisfied with the punishment.
Government members of Pemra, in a meeting headed by acting chairman Pervaiz Rathore, suspended Geo TV’s licence for 15 days and fined the network Rs10 million. The suspension of Geo’s licence comes to an end today (Friday).
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has termed the punishment announced by Pemra “lenient compared to the crime committed by Geo” several times before. He had earlier said his ministry was working on legal points pertaining to the punishment and would request the court to increase the penalty.
Following the attack on journalist Hamid Mir on April 19, the Jang/Geo group accused the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general of being responsible. Geo TV subsequently ran an eight-hour-long campaign maligning the ISI chief.