Violation of cable TV rules alleged
PESHAWAR – The Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (Pemra) has failed to keep a check on cable TV operators who are not only showing banned satellite channels and obscene programmes but also anti-Pakistan films produced in a neighbouring country.
Pemra, established about two years ago, has given a free hand to the cable operators, particularly to about 80 in the Frontier province, who are showing all the banned Indian channels.
The Pemra head office in Islamabad had recently issued a list of permitted satellite channels which did not include any Indian channel. Series, BBC Food, MM, MM2, MTV, Channel V and Reality are a few other satellite channels which are being shown by almost all the operators in the city even though they are not included in the list.
It is observed that most operators do not have any machine to censor objectionable scenes. Many parents complain that the cable TV operators do not cut an objectionable scene even shown on the Cartoon Network.
“During the programme, an advertisement of DSTV is shown which carries half-nude pictures. But these have never been censored by cable operators,” said Mr Ejaz, a resident of cantonment area.
Due to Pemra’s failure, children are being exposed to violence and obscenity, he said. Some of the x-rated programmes are Bay Watch of the Star World, Jerry Show of the Series channel and Secret of the Reality TV, which are known for screening obscene pictures.
The operators are also showing movies and indecent local dances and stage dramas to their clients through DVDs and VCRs in violation of the Pemra rules. They are also getting local advertisements and showing them through their programmes through DVDs and VCRs, a practice in contravention of the prescribed rules.
Mahmood Khan, another resident, said the Indian satellite channels – Zee Cinema and Star Gold – had shown anti-Pakistan movies, particularly about Kashmir, from August 10 to August 15.
All the cable operators in the city showed these propaganda movies without censoring any part, he lamented. A senior Pemra official admitted the authority’s failure to stop banned Indian and other satellite channels. However, he also held the law enforcement agencies responsible for not netting those cable operators who were showing vulgar and anti-state programmes. The cable TV operators were violating the Pemra rules not only in the NWFP but also in other provinces, Capt (retd) Asif, the general manager of Pemra’s regional office, told Dawn.
“It is difficult for us to punish the violators on the spot without fulfilling the procedure,” he said. The problem for Pemra had been created by local-level cable TV operators, the general manager said.