Outrage over ban on Pak TV channels in Kashmir
Last couple of days have seen outrage against the banning of Pakistani television channels in Kashmir. The order has been imposed on television channels in the valley by administration citing desecration of broadcast rules and regulation, which seeks mandatory registration of foreign channels with the government of India.
Following the direction of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting the Cable authorities have blocked four Pakistani channels PTV, ARY, Aaj and Geo TV. In protest to the ban, the Cable operators in the state have stopped telecasting national and international channels from Thursday evening.
The separatists leaders in Kashmir have cited this as of ‘no sense’ and some even pointed it out as a ‘cultural aggression’. The administration in response seeks government clearance to broadcast the channel.
However, sources from the ministry says that there is no such political motive behind the decission and is only to bring all foreign TV broadcasters into the frame of Indian company registration act.
According to the existing regulations of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Government of India, any foreign television broadcaster has to register itself under the act, or else would not liable for transmission.
For the same the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said that the cable as well as satellite operators are proscribed from transmitting any foreign channel, which had not registered or paid the required fee to the government.
As per ministry sources, despite repeated appeal the Pakistani and some television channels of Middle East never applied for registration. The regulation was issued on November 2005 and since then 332 channels have registered with the ministry.
The act also prohibits any foreign channel from carrying advertisements or news programmes specifically designed for Indian audience thereby protecting the business rights of Indian channels.
Meanwhile, political parties in the valley have slapped the ban terming it as an authoritarian approach of the ministry.
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