Miffed over PM Modi's plan to air radio programmes in Balochi, Pak bans Indian TV channels
The PEMRA chairman said action against the dealers of Indian DTH would be launched with immediate effect.
New Delhi: Pakistan's Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned Indian TV channels through DTH (direct-to-home) services with immediate effect, apparently over India's plans to telecast some of its radio programmes also in Balochi language.
"Adequate time is being given to the cable operators and satellite channels to adjust their timings as per the legal requirements.
“Otherwise, punitive action will be taken against the two important segments from October 15," Dawn quoted PEMRA chairman Absar Alam as saying.
Pakistan media reports that the country's Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has banned Indian TV Channels through DTH services.
— ANI (@ANI_news) September 1, 2016
He said action against the dealers of Indian DTH would be launched with immediate effect.
A PEMRA board meeting also decided to stop the airing of any Indian channel in the country since none of them had landing rights in Pakistan.
Alam said the PEMRA would write letters to the Federal Board of Revenue, the State Bank and agencies, including the Federal Investigation Agency, for curbing the sale of Indian DTH decoders in the country.
"Around three million Indian DTH decoders are being sold in the country. We not only want this sale stopped but will also ask the relevant agencies to trace the money trail to determine the mode of payments made to Indian dealers selling these decoders to Pakistanis," he said.
He said that all the stakeholders, including cable operators and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association, had been forewarned that steps would be initiated in near future against the airing of excessive foreign content.
Under PEMRA rules, only 10 percent of airtime (two hours and 40 minutes in a 24-hour transmission) is allowed for foreign contents.
Alam also warned of punitive actions, including suspension and revocation of licences, for repeated violations.
The All India Radio (AIR) is soon expected to start programmes in Balochi language.
According to AIR sources, the Narendra Modi-led government has given its approval for the same.