Pemra's ban on channels being openly violated -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pemra’s ban on channels being openly violated

KARACHI, Dec 28: Despite a ban imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Indian channels, the cable operators throughout the mega city have restarted broadcasting the banned Indian channels.

As per practice, cable operators allow TV subscribers to watch these banned channels in the evening and till late in the morning everyday. During day timings, instead of displaying Indian channels, viewers are allowed only to watch sports and other entertainment channels.

People from various localities confirmed that the banned channels, including Zee News, Zee Cinema, Star Plus, Star Gold, B4U Music and B4U Movies, were being telecast by their respective cable operators. Opinions and views in opposition and favour of ban on Indian entertainment channels were presented by people while talking to this scribe.

According to some subscribers, the PEMRA has no business to decide about what channels people should watch while others said they were happy that Indian culture was not “intruding” into their homes.

The viewers, who opposed the ban, criticized the PEMRA for banning Indian channels and said that some of these Indian channels were immensely popular among locals especially women.

“The PEMRA has no moral justification for the ban on Indian channels. When we make monthly payments to cable operators, we should be allowed to watch whatever entertainment channels we want to see, as the authority has no right to tell us whether a channel is good for our morals or not,” a student said.

However, an elderly family defended the PEMRA’s decision arguing that on one hand, our moral values were at stake due to these “obscene” channels while on the other, these channels were unleashing propaganda against Pakistan.

A female student, Sheeba Ahmed, said that the PEMRA had not been consistent about the justification for the ban on Indian channels. “A couple of months back, the regulatory authority imposed a ban on Indian channels citing heightened tension between India and Pakistan.

There was no more tensions between both countries and therefore there was no need to ban Indian channels.” Another viewer said the regulatory authority had changed its stand so many times that had made the ban dubious. -PPI

Source: Dawn
Date:12/27/2003