Ban on cable TV channels relaxed -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Ban on cable TV channels relaxed

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has allowed Cable TV Operators to transmit five Star TV Channels of ESPN, Star Sports, National Geographic, Fox News and Sky News.

All five channels are considered to be harmless as far as malicious Indian propaganda is concerned.

The government, however, did not allow the transmission of the channels fully controlled by India, including Star Plus and Sahara.

The PTA reiterated that no violation of the restriction by the cable operators would be allowed.

The government had imposed ban on the transmission of Indian Satellite Channels including Star Satellite Network to control malicious Indian propaganda by its TV channels to tarnish the image of Pakistan.

The directions were issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to all the Cable TV operators to halt the transmission of Indian channels to the general public.

According to the announcement the Indian TV Channels beamed through Satellite in Pakistan as well as beamed by Star Satellite Channels were propagating injurious material against the security of Pakistan thus violating the conditions of the license issued by PTA to Cable TV Operators.

There are thousands of cable operators throughout the country, who have to follow the terms and condition as set by PTA. About 70 per cent channels being provided by the cable operators are owned by Indian firms.

A majority of people like to watch Indian programme, which is evident with a fact that Star Plus, which is one of the channels of Star Networks, receives heavy advertisement for the promotion of Pakistani products.

The attempt to create barrier against the technology received mixed public reaction.

A cable operator while talking to The Nation said that he had no other option but to reduce the monthly service charges as the people were not willing to see only English language channels.

He said most of his clients have reinstalled Dish Antennas and disconnected the connection.

“The business is badly suffering. At one hand it seems a good decision to stop Indian propaganda but on the other hand it is directly hitting the business,” he added.

But a number of cable operators were found in relaying latest and old Indian movies, through VCR or VCD. They justified the act that movie has nothing to do with propaganda, as they are merely a mean of entertainment.

The PTA decision was largely criticized by the house wives, who have to spend whole day at home. A majority of them like Indian programmes, being telecast on Star Plus.
Source: The Nation
Date:1/5/2002