After ban of airing Indian content, Pakistan to restrict Indian news portals

Pakistan had banned the website last month following a plea claiming the magazine published a 'derogatory photo' of Pakistan's Army chief General Raheel Sharif

Days after the Pakistan media regulator banned airing of Indian content in the country, the government is reportedly planning to restrict the India Today website within the country.

Pakistan had banned the website last month following a plea claiming the magazine published a ‘derogatory photo’ of Pakistan’s Army chief General Raheel Sharif.

The magazine cover carried an image of Sharif with imprints of a hand photoshopped on to his cheek, giving an impression that he had been slapped. However, the ban was later lifted in the wake of outrage.

In the latest development, the government has asked local internet service providers and services that offer Indian content on web to block India Today’s online portal, the publication said.

The current attempt to ban the India Today website seems more systematic with the Pakistan Telecom Authority, it stated.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) imposed a blanket ban on airing Indian content on satellite TV and FM radio channels in the country from October 21 onwards.

The decision was taken in PEMRA’s 120th meeting headed by Absar Alam in Islamabad and the regulator has directed all satellite television channels and radio to follow the code of conduct.

It said that licence of the violators would be cancelled without intimating show-cause notice.

The statement issued by the regulatory body read as: “Licences of TV channels and radio stations that go against the ban will be cancelled without any show-cause notice.”

“Pemra, with the authority vested by the federal government, today announces the cancellation of the one-sided rights given to India by the Pervez Musharraf government,” the statement added.

Tension between the neighbours has been rising since the Uri attack and India’s surgical strike in retaliation, prompting several ‘bans’ on both the sides.  Recently, Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) has imposed a ban on Pakistani artistes and technicians from working in India till “normalcy” returns.