Islamabad: Pakistan’s defence establishment has demanded that the government should immediately close all illegal Indian TV channels to check “India’s hostile agenda against Pakistan”, according to a media report on Wednesday.
The defence establishment had repeatedly conveyed its ”extreme concern” to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and the Information Ministry over the “onslaught of Indian propaganda”, specifically programming that targets the young generation, Pakistani culture and nationalism.
The defence set-up is also concerned about India’s alleged ”hostile agenda against Pakistan and its institutions through the illegal television channels”, The News daily quoted its sources in the Information Ministry as saying.
The defence establishment approached PEMRA and the Information Ministry, at least thrice since 2008, with the demand that the private channels showing banned Indian programming must be closed down “without getting into economics as such ventures go against the national interest”.
“Hostile agenda of Indian media is presently being facilitated by weak monitoring and implementation system in Pakistan,” the report quoted an official letter as saying.
The letter further said such channels had made “deep ingress in all cities of Pakistan”.
The civilian authorities received one of the letters in July 2009 and another was delivered in December 2011.
The authorities received a third letter of “extreme concern over this situation” early this year, the report said.
The defence and security establishment informed concerned authorities on several occasions that cable operators were airing Indian channels despite an existing code of conduct for the media that forbids them from showing anything which is ”against basic cultural values, morality and good manners” and ”contains material which is against the ideology of Pakistan”.
The Indian entertainment channels, the letters claimed, are following a “subtle propaganda campaign”, specifically targeting the young generation, culture and nationalism.
A weak monitoring and implementation system in Pakistan are facilitating the alleged “hostile agenda of Indian media”.
The security establishment asked the government to ensure that PEMRA takes action and closes such channels but within weeks, the Indian channels are again aired through on cable networks.