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Press Trust Of India
Islamabad, May 20, 2014
The licences of three television channels of the Geo TV network were on Tuesday suspended by Pakistan's electronic media watchdog for levelling allegations against the country's powerful spy agency ISI. A committee formed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has suspended the licences of three television channels owned by the Geo TV network.

"The committee, which included Syed Ismail Shah, Pervez Rathore and Israr Abbasi, was tasked to review the Ministry of Defence's application filed against Geo TV network for levelling allegations against an intelligence agency of Pakistan," Dawn News reported without naming ISI.

However, last month Pakistan's leading news anchor who works for Geo TV Hamid Mir, who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, had said that he faced threats from both non-state and state actors including the powerful spy agency ISI.

The members of the committee, speaking to reporters here, announced that they have decided to suspend the licences of the three channels - Geo News, Geo Entertainment and Geo Tez - with immediate effect.

The suspension is to stay in effect until May 28, when another session of the committee will be called to decide on the final decision regarding cancellation of the licences.

Following the attack on Mir, Jang group which owns Geo TV had said, "We also want to bring it on the record that the ISI has been continuously and strongly complaining to our senior editors against some of our senior journalists, particularly against Hamid Mir. We will prove this and many other things at the proper time."