FM radio stations not allowed to air foreign broadcasts: PEMRA
ISLAMABAD, Jul 4 (APP): Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has not granted permission to any FM Radio station to air foreign broadcasts.
International broadcast practices in the developed countries also do not allow indigenous FM Radio stations to sell air time for international or national news, says a press release here Wednesday.
However, PEMRA is examining the good practices being followed in the developed world and hopes to settle the issue in consultation with the stakeholders.
It is also a considered view of the Authority that a uniform and even handed policy has to be put in place before any foreign news house is allowed to buy air time from FM Radio.
However, this by no means can be construed as curbs on the freedom of expression because PEMRA welcomes every foreign broadcaster and has already permitted airing of many international broadcasters like CNN, Sky News, Fox News, BBC etc.
In addition, a host of foreign channels have been granted landing right permission.
It regretted the fact that while discussions on the issue were in progress, FM 103 and some other FM Radio stations started unauthorized hourly news service of a foreign channel which had to be stopped.
Nothing contravening the laws of the country and government policy can be allowed, it says.
In 2004, few FM Radio stations illegally sold their air time to foreign broadcasters when notices were issued for the closure of illegal foreign news service, PEMRA was taken to court where the case was adjudicated in favour of PEMRA, it says.
Accordingly in the middle of 2005, all illegal foreign broadcasts on FM Radio were also stopped.