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PEMRA issues show cause notice to Geo News for ‘airing unipolarity of views’

PEMRA issues show cause notice to Geo News for ‘airing unipolarity of views’

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued a show cause notice to Geo Jang Media Group for “airing unipolarity of views in its bulletins and programmes since yesterday” and discussing “under investigation/trial matters barred under PEMRA laws”.

The show cause notice comes a day after the NAB, the country’s anti-graft watchdog, arrested Jang Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in relation to a property he had purchased from a private party 34 years ago.

The notification added that in this regard, “the licensee is also directed to appear for personal hearing on March 20, 2020 at 1100 Hrs. through its C.E.O. in person or through authorized representative before this Authority.”

Earlier, after SAPM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan’s Friday press conference on the arrest of Editor-in-Chief of the Jang Geo Media Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman ended, cable operators started receiving directions to shut down Geo TV’s broadcast or demote the channel to the last numbers in various cities.

Geo News Director News Rana Jawad said the PEMRA had issued the directives to the country’s cable operators, who, he said, “are being asked to change Geo News’ position [on TV channel numbers]”.

“Shifting the channel to the last numbers means shutting down its broadcast,” Jawad added, noting that these instructions were also given to the main cable operator in Islamabad and that no legal basis was provided for the action.

The director added that PEMRA had threatened to take legal action against any cable operator who did not comply with the instructions to unjustly target Geo News. A cable operator in Islamabad shifted Geo News from number 7 to 71, he added, noting that the cable operators in other cities of Pakistan were following suit.