Indian TV channels banned -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Indian TV channels banned

ISLAMABAD – The government imposed ban on the transmission of Indian satellite channels including Star Satellite Network.

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

The decision was taken to control malicious Indian propaganda by its TV channels to tarnish the image of Pakistan.

According to a PTA announcement the Indian TV channels beamed through satellite in Pakistan as well as beamed by Star Satellite channels are propagating malicious material against the security of Pakistan thus violating the conditions of the license issued by PTA to Cable TV Operators.

The announcement warned that the licenses of the cable operators would be canceled if they were found violating the orders. There are thousands of cable operators throughout the country, who have to follow the terms and conditions set by PTA.

Interestingly, Indian firms own about 70 per cent channels being provided by the cable operators.

A majority of people likes to watch Indian programmes, which is evident from the fact that Star Plus, which is one of the channels of Star Networks, receives heavy advertisements for the promotion of Pakistani products.

The story of cable operators in the federal capital is rather interesting which also involves some shameful aspects.

An official source in PTA told The Nation that more than 100 ‘cable operators are providing services in the federal capital. They had dispute with the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for laying a web of wires in the street, at rooftop-height.

All the cabling in the residential area of the capital is underground. The CDA officials had objected and said that the cables should have been laid down after proper digging.

Against the objections, raised by CDA, the cable operators requested the High Court to protect their business from CDA. The court had termed them as poor businessmen and asked the authority to show leniency.

The sources added that the PTA had also requested CDA to give the operators some time so that they might arrange for underground cabling.

The PTA seems very efficient to place ban on Indian satellite TV-channels, but it has turned a blind eye to a blatant violation of rules by the cable operators.

Every cable operator has room for two or three personal channels, which they use for relaying different movies. Such practice is prohibited under the license, issued by PTA.

Most of the time, at night, the movies are highly objectionable for their nudity. The cable operators under the patronage of some “brave” PTA officials are doing their dirty business of showing nude movies without any fear of being caught or even asked.

Besides, they also show latest and old Indian movies which is yet another violation of the rules. A cable operator, who requested anonymity, told The Nation that he regularly paid monthly to few concerned PTA officials and in return they let him do what is illegal and unethical.

Once, Director Municipal Administration of CDA, Mustufain Kazimi, raided the network of a cable operator and took away illegally laid cables, on the rooftops.

Against the raid all the cable operators of Islamabad had set a good example of solidarity among them.
Source: The Nation
Date:12/30/2001