Islamabad: Pakistan's media watchdog today formed a three-member panel to review the Defence Ministry's complaint seeking cancellation of GEO TV's license for levelling allegations against the ISI over the attempt on the life of leading TV anchor Hamid Mir.
The committee, comprising Syed Ismail Shah, Pervez Rathore and Israr Abbasi, will review the application against GEO and apprise the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) board of the facts surrounding the matter. PEMRA officials said the nature of charges againstGeo news were serious hence the channel would be given a full opportunity for offering an explanation, Dawn News reported.
The complaint was submitted to the media regulator under Sections 33 and 36 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 after approval from the Defence Minister Khawaja Asif late last evening after intense deliberations over the matter.
The controversy erupted following the attack on Geo TV's lead anchor, Mir, on Saturday in Karachi. Soon after the attack, Mir's brother came on thechannel blaming the "certain elements" in the ISI and its chief of orchestrating the attack.
According to a statement, the Ministry also provided the authority with the relevant evidence suggesting the mediagroup'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.