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Islamabad/Lahore: The people of Pakistan have been left without their daily fix of Indian soap operas and Bollywood movies after cable operators in the country stopped beaming Indian entertainment channels on the orders of a media regulatory body.
Leading entertainment channels of the Star and Sony networks have disappeared from cable television, while several international news channels like the BBC and CNN are no longer being beamed in some parts of Pakistan for the past few days.
A message displayed on the Nayatal cable network in Islamabad said the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had “suspended some channels.”
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Chairman, Malik Mushtaq, told reporters that the decision had been taken on the directions of the Supreme Court.
“Cable operators have been directed to immediately stop broadcasting all those channels which have no landing rights,” he said.
Media reports said the Supreme Court blacked out Indian channels on the recommendation of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on August 25. A Pakistan Cable Operators Association official, Muhammad Sadiq, said: “Cable operators have been directed to stop airing at least 30 channels.”
Some popular Islamic channels, broadcast from abroad, including the India-based Peace TV, and several sports channels too have also been affected by the directive from PEMRA.
There has been widespread public outrage against PEMRA's order to remove these channels which are watched by millions of people. Rights activist Hina Abbas said, “Since we are already a fun-starved nation, such an action will deprive everyone the luxury of watching entertainment channels.” — PTI
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