Five illegal FM stations in Bajaur closed
KHAR (Bajaur Agency), February 23 2006: The political authorities have closed five illegal FM radio channels in different parts of the Bajaur Agency, sources told Dawn here on Wednesday February 22.
The operation against the illegal radio channels has been started on the directives of provincial Governor Khalilur Rehman.
The sources said that the local authorities had given a two- week deadline to the owners of the radio stations to voluntarily close the operations, but they did not pay heed to the warning.
On expiry of the deadline, the authorities initiated an operation against illegal transmissions by the radio stations and seized equipment and sealed five of them in different areas, the sources said.
In 2004, the authorities had closed several illegal FM radio stations, but they restarted operation after some time. Presently, there are more than 20 radio stations operating without permission in the tribal agency. The stations run religious programmes, and also give Quranic and Ahadith teachings to the listeners.
The present action was initiated after a leader of the banned Tehrik Nefaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi, Maulana Faqir Mohammad, had relayed lectures on his illegal channel against the government and the local administration after the US air strike in the Damadola village in the Bajaur Agency.