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IOK authorities ban cable for airing Pakistani channels

Srinagar, May 30, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Governor administration has shut down local cable network in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir valley for airing Pakistani channels. The administration head by Governor Satya Pal Malik banned all Pakistani TV channels. The local cable operators said that without any prior notification, the authorities sealed off their main head office in Hyderpora, leaving them clueless about the entire development.

Owner of K9 TV cable network, Farooq Sheikh, said the ban has impacted around thirty thousand viewers in Srinagar. He said that they did not receive any communication from the Deputy Commissioner’s office on the matter.

“Our cable network operates in 50 localities across the Srinagar city. We have total clientele of 30,000 and more than 500 people are earning their livelihood from this profession. All of them were impacted,” Sheikh said.

In 2017, Government of India had asked then puppet administration to immediately stop the broadcast of channels from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the Kashmir valley. On July 2018, an order issued by the additional district commissioner (ADC), Srinagar, had asked all cable operators to close almost 30 channels in the valley.

The channels include GEO News, ARY New Asia, Abb Takk News, 92 News, Duniya News, Samma News, Geo Tez, Express News, ARY News, ARY QTV, Madni Channel, Noor TV, Hadi TV, Paigham, Hidayat, Sehar, Message TV, Hum TV, ARY Digital Asia, Hum Sitaray, ARY Zindagi, PTV Sports, ARY Musik, TV One, ARY Masala, ARY Zouq and ATV. The authorities also banned Saudi Arabia-based channels including Saudi Al-Sunnah Al-Nabawiyah, Saudi Al-Quran Al-Karim.

Pertinently, several members of the cable operators association met Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, on Wednesday to discuss the matter. However, the operators alleged that the DC gave cold shoulder to their plea for allowing them to restore the network. “He (DC) told us there is pressure from higher authorities,” they said. The local operators said the ban would make a huge dent on their business.

Waqas Sofi, a cable operator in Rainawari area of Srinagar, said that with Cricket World Cup starting from Thursday, it would be difficult task to convince the viewers to hold on to their network. “If the ban will continue then I am afraid we will lose our clients. Many will switch to dish TVs. It will be a huge business loss for us,” he said.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Website: www.kmsnews.org

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