Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman Absar Alam said on Tuesday that an application has been sent to the federal government for a total ban on airing of Indian content.
The federal government had earlier recommended ban on airing of Indian content after Pakistani content was banned by India. The Pemra chairman said that as India had banned the films starring Pakistani artists, “we will have to do the same”.
“A letter has been sent to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in this regard,” he said, adding that the government would make a decision on the matter within a week.
He said a crackdown was started against illegal Indian Direct-to-Home (DTH) on Oct 15, and action was being taken against cable operators who did not act in accordance with the instructions.
We have received complaints against three channels for airing more than 6pc Indian content, Pemra chairman said. As per the law, only 10pc of airtime was allowed for foreign content, while the maximum limit for Indian content was 6pc in 24 hours.
“If the channels are found guilty they will be banned”, Absar Alam added.
In regard to the Pakistani DTH licences, the Pemra chairman said that seven more companies have requested the licence, while nine companies have already been shortlisted.
He added that 16 requests had been received for three DTH licences and the licences will be issued over the next few weeks. Alam added that the ground price for the DTHs was Rs200 million.
A company owned by PML-N leaders and CM Shahbaz Sharif’s son Hamza Shahbaz has also been shortlisted for DTH licence, he said.
Earlier in October, Pemra granted Absar Alam the authority to revoke companies’ licence airing Indian content without prior notice.
Pemra, on 31 August, warned channels that a strict action would be taken in case of airing foreign content more than the prescribed limit.