Cable operators showing Indian TV programmes | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Cable operators showing Indian TV programmes


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KARACHI- The cable operators in City are showing Indian television programmes, thus flouting the orders of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The government has strictly directed the PTA to take punitive action against the violators. The President of the Cable Operators Association, Hasan Mustafa, had also assured that orders would be followed strictly.

The operators observed the rules for about a month. But later on, they started flouting the orders to a limited extent. The PTA seems helpless as the local police is protecting the law-breakers.

In the evening, they are showing Star Plus, Star Movies, Star World and Sony. Cable operators said that the customers had insisted for such channels. In case the programmes are denied to them, a majority of subscribers had threatened to cancel the subscription.

“We do so for a limited period. A large number of our subscribers are not literate. Therefore, they are not interested in English language movies or sports broadcast in English. As a matter of fact, in many cases we are showing the videos of such programmes,” he said.

The cable operators are showing Indian films through VCR at their disposal. They think that there was no ban on such display. It is legal and no one has asked us to stop showing the video films.

The PTA, it is learnt has failed to put a tab on such operators. Some of them it is learnt are highly influential. Local police is giving them protection. In some parts of Dirgh Colony, Malir Town, New Karachi and Korangi, it seems that the news of ban or such regulatory orders have not reached to the cable operators as yet. There is a free for all in such areas.

Well-placed sources have said that in certain areas, some punitive action was taken against the operators, but in majority of cases, such instructions under the protection of local police have been ignored. A source in the PTA said that we take immediate action in case any such incident is reported, but what we can do, if the implementing agencies do not cooperate with us, he said.

Islamabad had disallowed Indian TV channels beamed through satellite in Pakistan, as well as beamed by Star TV satellite channel on the plea that they were propagating injurious material against the security of Pakistan. Afterwards the PTA lifted the ban on TV channels package. The channels from which the ban was lifted were the ESPN, Star Sports, National Geographic, Fox News and Sky News.
Some subscribers complained that Pakistan TV has not improved the standard despite many concessions it has got from the government. There is nothing to entertain in PTV, they said. “We had taken the cable only for seeing the Indian channel,” said one subscriber.

Source: The Nation
Date:3/27/2002