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    Indian channels to be broadcast in Pakistan

    Indian channels may be back soon

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default...9-2-2004_pg7_7

    By Hasan Mansoor

    KARACHI: Pakistan may soon permit cable operators to show Indian satellite channels again as a goodwill gesture marking the current secretary-level talks between the two South Asian nuclear neighbours.

    “We have indications from some official channels and are still waiting for a formal announcement on the ban being lifted,” said Tahir Khan, vice president of the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (COAP), on Wednesday. He said Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had not told them when it was going to lift the ban.

    The Indian satellite channels were banned in Pakistan after the two countries closed their diplomatic offices and cut rail, road and air links after an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001. More than 20 channels were affected, including Star, Zee and Sony networks. Some officials in Islamabad, who asked not to be named, told Daily Times the government had no objection to lifting the ban on Indian channels dedicated to family entertainment. In the second phase, they added, the cable operators could even relay Indian news channels.

    “The growing ties between the two neighbours have convinced the government that the Indian news channels will not be hurling propaganda against Pakistan, as they did a couple of years ago,” the official said. “PEMRA will be announcing fresh guidelines for the cable operators pretty soon,” another official said. “Pakistan and India have restored their traditional communication links and the two want to go even further in this direction,” the official said.

    Cable operators say they suffered badly during the 26-month ban. “We won’t broadcast Indian news and propaganda channels but the government should lift the ban on entertainment channels. They are popular with Pakistanis and can help the cable operators continue their business,” Mr Khan said.

    “Most of our clients do not understand English and other foreign languages,” he said. Subscriptions to cable TV was falling rapidly for lack of Indian channels, he complained. According to Mr Khan, the cable operators’ business had dropped 40 percent. Since the ban was imposed on December 30, 2001, cable operators had been pleading for permission to relay Indian “no-news” channels. Last year, cable operators across Pakistan stopped showing five news channels — CNN, BBC, ARY, Geo and Indus News — in protest.

    Mr Khan said there were at least 400 cable operators in businesses in Karachi before the ban, but now because of the sharp decline in their clientele, high business costs, taxes and police harassment, their number had decreased to 273. Of the 972 in the rest of Pakistan, the number had plummeted to 110, he added. Most cable operators had to merge their businesses to reduce costs, while others switched over to more profitable businesses, Mr Khan said.

    Many foreign channels and new Urdu channels replaced the banned channels and the cable operators were hoping that these channels had the potential to become popular in Pakistan. But this did not happen. “Banning TV channels is not a good precedent,” said Mustafa, a newspaper vendor in downtown Saddar.

    #2
    Initially I supported this ban, but after considering how much people were into these channels, and how people turn to other things when they dont get these channels, Id say they should be allowed. There is not point in enforcing the ban now, when 95% of the cabler operators are already defying it.

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      #3
      I for one say we regulate it more.. maybe make it more expensive.. so that people who are really dying to see them, can and govt makes some money letting them see it.. We should be promoting our own media and at this moment they do need protection from an onslaught of foreign channels.

      Maybe in a few years when we have channels that have matured and are presenting well we can let them into our market...
      If there's a better use for the Internet, I haven't found it -- Homer Simpson

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        #4
        Originally posted by Baba G:
        I for one say we regulate it more.. maybe make it more expensive.. so that people who are really dying to see them, can and govt makes some money letting them see it.. We should be promoting our own media and at this moment they do need protection from an onslaught of foreign channels.

        Maybe in a few years when we have channels that have matured and are presenting well we can let them into our market...
        Baba, the only thing positive that came out of this prolonged ban was the fact that alot of Pakistani channels did infact pop up. Geo, IM and Indus gained popularity and became quality channels, just like ARY. I think we have a strong media line up right now with excellent programming, alongside PTV, PTV World, and I dont think there is a threat to it anymore. We should let all of the channels air, both Indian and Pakistani channels will have their respective sizable audiences.

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          #5
          A ban would never be a solution. Its a world of free airwaves. If some wrong propaganda comes from the other side, the nation should be well trained and educated in advance. That is the only way.

          Comment


            #6
            sad

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Islamabad:
              A ban would never be a solution. Its a world of free airwaves. If some wrong propaganda comes from the other side, the nation should be well trained and educated in advance. That is the only way.
              Well said. However, I do not believe that propoganda showed on the Indian media would have any effects on the people of Pakistan (just like the musharraf-nama has none), however people are in it for the entertainment programmes.

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