ISLAMABAD - A three-member committee has been constituted by the five private members of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to implement the decision taken by the authority members pertaining to suspension of three television channels licenses run by the Geo TV Network.
The five members of Authority including Israr Abbasi, Main Shams, Shama Perveen Magsi and Shama Perveen met under the chair of Fareha Iftikhar.
After the 98th scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Israr Abbasi informed the media that a committee was formed by the private members and was tasked to implement all the decisions taken in the 97th scheduled meeting of the authority including suspension of licenses of Geo News, Geo Entertainment and Geo Tez licences.
Abbasi said that Pemra is an independent entity and will take decisions independently. He contended that the Ministry of Information is exerting pressure on the authority members. Replying to a question about blocking Geo TV channels by cable operators, Abbasi said that if the channels were blocked after May 20 then it was not illegal.
He said that members have decided that the next meeting would be held on June 17 and matters relating to Geo network would be discussed in it.
To another question about the apology extended by the Geo TV Network, he said that the meeting would also discuss legal status of the apology. On the absence of the 7 government officials who are the authority members, Fariha Iftikhar stated that they left the meeting after sitting for a few minutes but remained present in the PEMRA building throughout the meeting.
Mian Shams stated that the chairman PEMRA and the Board are authorized to implement the decision as per PEMRA laws, however, as there is no chairman of the authority, the members participating in the 98th meeting transferred their powers to the three members of the newly constituted committee.
In a press release issued by PEMRA stated that meeting of PEMRA private members held at the PEMRA Headquarters, the Ex Officio Members clarified that the meeting called by private members in isolation had no legal consequence. A consensual PEMRA Authority meeting was to be held on May 27 however, the same was cancelled amid orders of the Islamabad High Court and all the members were informed in writing accordingly.
It was hence, decided by majority Members that next meeting shall be convened after the decision/ further orders by the Court.
Therefore, the majority members felt that Wednesday’s meeting of some private members was in defiance to the Court orders and thus majority members did not attend.