Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has ordered restoration of all Geo TV channels on their actual position within 24 hours, according to a press statement by the regulatory body issued Monday.

The authority said it had received complaints from Lahore and Karachi regarding the suspension of the channels.

PEMRA, via a press release, clarified that it had not ordered the closure of any television channel and that the process of suspension of license would begin against operators — Wateen Telecommunication and Worldcall Telecommunication — if the channels are not restored within 24 hours.

Moreover, the PEMRA warned that in case of non-compliance it would initiate the process of revoking the said licenses under Section 30 of the PEMRA Ordinance.

A day ago, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal expressed concern over the suspension of Geo News and other channels of the organisation.

Speaking on Geo News’ programme ‘Naya Pakistan,’ Iqbal said that neither PEMRA nor the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had issued instructions to put the channels off air.

The minister said that the prime minister had been informed about the broadcast suspension.

“If these things are not corrected then questions will be raised on the transparency of the upcoming elections,” he said.

Senior anchor Talat Hussain on Sunday shared via a Tweet that the channel has been suspended in several cities including Karachi, Lahore and Multan.

“Cable operators say they are forced to do it. Government powerless. Financial choking, woes of workers is part of the worst, most blatant censorship we have faced in recent times.”

Geo’s blackout not at behest of Pemra or Information Ministry: Ahsan Iqbal