Pakistan bans Indian channels, DTH after India boost AIR’s Balochi broadcast

Pakistan officials said, its laws pertaining to foreign content transmission have been violated, and warned that a crackdown will begin soon
Baloch activists raise Indian flag in Germany

Responding to India’s decision to broadcast programmes in Balochi, Pakistan Wednesday banned all Indian TV channels and DTH services. PTI reported that , the new broadcast legislation will come into force from 15 October.

The decision came after Indian government boosted the signal capacity of AIR transmission by installing a new transmitter in Jammu and Kashmir, said PTI.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman Absar Alam stated that it will be enforced with the help of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other intelligence agencies, reported Geo TV.

He added, PEMRA considers the issue of transmission of Indian channels in Pakistan as a sensitive one, adding there are over three million DTH consumers in the country.

Pak authorities informed that, while local channels in country can air foreign content, PEMRA has put a cap of 10 percent on total content being broadcast. Out of the 10 percent foreign content, 6 percent could be Indian content and rest may be from other countries, reported Geo TV.

Absar Alam claimed Pak’s laws pertaining to foreign content transmission have been violated, and warned that a crackdown will begin soon.

He made it clear to journalists that no Indian channel has landing rights in Pakistan. He also mooted legislation on Indian actors who endorse Pakistani brands in their advertisements. He further said, PEMRA will enforce whatever laws mooted by the parliament in this regard.

Now, cable operators can broadcast a maximum of five in-house channels only, which show films and other content, that are played back from compact discs.

Pakistan’s electronic media watchdog also came down heavily on local channels as well. According to PEMRA officials, the decision was taken after receiving several complaints from TV owners and ordinary citizens.

The government on Wednesday gave orders to Pakistan’s state-owned radio broadcaster to include Balochi language among the 14 foreign languages that it currently broadcasts , reported ANI.