Geo News to sue ISI for defamation

Published June 6, 2014
Logo of Geo News.
Logo of Geo News.

ISLAMABAD: Geo News is suing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for defamation over accusations of being anti-state, it said on Friday.

Geo News, part of the privately-owned Jang Group, has also given the ISI 14 days to issue a public apology.

“Geo and Jang Group (have) served a legal notice on the Ministry of Defence, Inter-Services Intelligence and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority for defaming and maligning the group,” the channel said in a report published in a newspaper owned by the media house.

“More than 8,000 journalists, workers and professionals attached to the group and their families are not only being harassed but also attacked and tortured across Pakistan.”

The suing by Geo News was followed by a suspension of the channel's license for 15 days along with a fine of Rs10 million.


Also read: Pemra suspends Geo News license for 15 days


In April, the defence ministry had demanded that the license of Geo News be suspended after it provided air space to journalist Amir Mir who accused the ISI for being behind the shooting of his brother Hamid Mir, one of Pakistan's most famous television anchormen.

Since the dispute began, Geo News has been taken off the air in several parts of the country or been moved to obscure slots on the channel lineup by the cable operators, allegedly under pressure from the military, according to the lawsuit.

Distribution of the parent group's newspapers has also been disrupted.

Last month, the channel apologised for the allegations in an attempt to resolve the issue.

But temperatures have failed to cool and in a lawsuit the channel has now asked the ISI to retract what it called its defamatory statements, publicly apologise and pay $500 million in damages.

A spokesman for the military was not immediately available for comment.

April's shooting of Hamid Mir sent a chill through the journalists’ community weeks after television anchor Raza Rumi was attacked in Lahore. Rumi survived but his driver was shot dead.

No one has claimed responsibility for the recent assaults, although the Taliban, holed up in mountains on the Afghan border, have made repeated threats against domestic and foreign reporters for portraying the insurgency in a negative light.

Opinion

Editorial

Back to bedlam
Updated 25 May, 2022

Back to bedlam

FEAR tactics have never worked in the past, and most likely will not this time either. The government’s ...
25 May, 2022

Balochistan blaze

THE forest fire on the Koh-i-Sulaiman range in Balochistan’s Shirani area is among a series of blazes to have...
25 May, 2022

Unequal citizens

INDIFFERENCE would have been bad enough, but the state’s attitude towards non-Muslims falls squarely in the...
Updated 24 May, 2022

Marching in May

MORE unrest. That is the forecast for the weeks ahead as the PTI formally proceeds with its planned march on...
24 May, 2022

Policy rate hike

THE State Bank has raised its policy rate by 150bps to 13.75pc, hoping that its latest monetary-tightening action...
24 May, 2022

Questionable campaign

OVER the past couple of days, a number of cases have been registered in different parts of the country against...