LHC told ban on Indian TV Channels in public interest
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LAHORE- Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has informed the Lahore High Court that ban on the cable operation of Indian TV channels has been placed in pursuance of security and defense measure adopted in the larger national interests.
Maj. Gen Shahzad Alam Malik, chairman PTA enlisted as respondent in the petition filed by advocate M.D. Tahir against ban on Indian TV channels, stated that ban on Indian channels was imposed at the behest of the Federal government, a legally competent authority for the purpose of suspending operation of the license and functions in the interest of security and defense of Pakistan during war or when hostilities exist between Pakistan and a foreign power.
The PTA had taken almost the entire lot of Indian channels off the cable hook following negative propaganda by the Indian media in the wake of attack on Indian Parliament on December 13 last. The petitioner, however, states that in order to better understand the policy of India against Pakistan, people must have access to the information aired through electronic media in order to rise to the occasion with equal capability as well as to hammer out a counter strategy.
Commenting on the petition, the PTA Chief said the ban on Indian channels was not his personal decision; rather the has been placed in terms of Section 5 1 of the PTA Act of 1996 after a policy decision was taken by the Authority in view of the larger national interests. The cable operators have themselves agreed to make such decisions and have stopped showing Indian channels, it said, adding, the ban is on those Indian TV channels, which are spitting venom against Pakistan.
Addressing other issues in the petition, he said, the PTA is monitoring pornography (on TV) and action under the law is ensuing for any violation in this respect. It was also stated that the PTA never banned the telecast of Qatar TV channel, Al-Jazeera, but only that channels of India which are ‘engaged in malicious and injurious propaganda against integrity and ideology of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan.’
The PTA chief pleaded for dismissing the petition as not maintainable and not standing any merit for relief.
The Court of Mr. Justice Kamarat Nazir Bhandari has required the petitioner to file rejoinder to the reply within two weeks.
Source: The Nation