Pemra puts conditions on airing Indian content
ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) yesterday conditionally allowed airing of Indian TV channels.
It was decided that Pemra will only allow airtime to Indian contents if India allows airtime to Pakistani content.
Pemra Chairman Absar Alam chaired the 119th meeting of the Authority and said airing of Indian contents on Pakistani TV channels will subject to the condition that Indian government also lifts a ban on Pakistani channels.
The Authority also discussed former president Pervez Musharraf regime’s policies regarding permission to air Indian contents on Pakistani media. On the advice of Musharraf, the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz had introduced a policy and allowed the local media to broadcast the Indian contents under that policy. The Authority moved a summary to federal government with request to repeal Shaukat Aziz regime’s policy because it proved detrimental to Pakistani film, drama and arts industry in last several years.
The Authority once again asked all TV channels to telecast six percent Indian contents till the policy lapses.
The Pemra had announced to launch a drive against TV channels violating electronic media code of conduct. The Pemra has written a letter to all national security institutions for cooperation to check the sale and purchase of illegal Indian DTH in Pakistan.
The Authority also announced the policy regarding landing rights permission. It decided to reduce the fees and introduce easy way for foreign channels to get landing rights for their transmission in Pakistan.
Interior Secretary Arif Khan, Information Secretary Saba Mohsin Raza, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Nasir Khan and provincial members of the Authority were present in the meeting.
The policies made during the Musharraf regime were put into effect by the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz so only federal government has the powers to revoke them, Pemra said.
It further said that from October 15, the body will take action against airing of all unauthorised contents and TV channels in the country.
Last month, Pemra said it would launch a crackdown on the illegal Indian DTH and airing of excessive foreign content by TV channels and cable operators.
“Around three million Indian DTH decoders are being sold in the country. We not only want this sale stopped but will also ask the relevant agencies to trace the money trail to determine the mode of payments made to Indian dealers selling these decoders to Pakistanis,” Pemra chairman Absar Alam had said.
All stakeholders, including cable operators and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association, had been forewarned that steps would be initiated in near future against the airing of excessive foreign content, he said.