K-P bans live broadcast of Chitral’s FM channel
ISLAMABAD: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government, acting on the complaint of a minority community, has banned the live broadcast of a local FM channel in Chitral for airing provocative speeches.
The Supreme Court was apprised about this by the secretary to Malakand’s commissioner, who submitted a two-page report in the court — a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.
On February 20, Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani took suo motu notice of news reports that said militants have warned the Kalash community to embrace Islam or face death. The top court had then directed Advocate General Latif Yousufzai to submit a comprehensive report regarding the protection of the Kalash Valley inhabitants.
In compliance with the court order, the secretary to Malakand’s commissioner submitted a report, which stated, “The Ismaili community of Chitral has pointed out that provocative speeches were aired from a local FM channel. The religious FM channel has been allowed by PEMRA; however the owner has been summoned by the district administration.”
“He [the owner] has been warned and strictly directed not to broadcast live discussions and only recorded programmes will be allowed for broadcasting — subject to the screening by the district administration”
The report further said that timely action has been taken in order to prevent any communal problem in Chitral and to promote complete harmony amongst Muslim communities and minorities.
The Malakand commissioner has directed the district administration to monitor the broadcast of the FM channel and in case it violates the agreement with the administration, PEMRA will be requested for cancellation of its licence accordingly, it added.
The report also says that the Malakand commissioner visited Kalash on February 21 and 22, wherein he held meetings with the local minority and Ismaili community.
The commissioner also gave assurances to the Kalash community that they will face no hindrance in performing their rituals according to their centuries-old traditions.
GOC 17 Division General Javed Bukhari also visited the valley and reviewed the security arrangements, the report said, adding that the government would provide security to them and a unit of army is already deployed in the area.
The report says that another platoon of police station Bumburet has strength of 55 personnel in addition to special force of 15 personnel and 15 personnel of border police are also vigilantly performing duties in the area.
The report concluded that there is no sectarian issue in Chitral and the story reflected in the international media has been reported with ulterior motives.