Sign up for weekly updates

Radio station closed for broadcasting BBC programme

(PPF/IFEX) - On 14 November 2005, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) raided a private FM radio station in Karachi and shut down its transmission for alleged violation of laws regulating the operation of radio stations. PEMRA officials assisted by the local police raided the FM 103 radio station and seized its transponders, antennas and other broadcast equipment.

Press reports in the daily "Dawn", quoting a representative of the radio station, said police and PEMRA officials mistreated the staff and used abusive language. An FM 103 representative said the station had previously been broadcasting news from the BBC, but stopped after PEMRA intervened in the matter (see IFEX alerts of 19 and 10 May 2005 and 15 November 2004). However, a programme from the foreign-based radio service including analysis and views on the 8 October earthquake was recently broadcast by FM 103.

A senior PEMRA official, speaking on condition of anonymity said, "The radio station was violating the rules and we have taken action against it." He added that according to PEMRA regulations, radio stations can only broadcast news and current affairs programmes that are produced by the state-run radio and television networks.

Federal Information Minister Shaikh Rashid said PEMRA rules were clear about the broadcast of programmes from foreign channels on local radio stations. He said, "It is illegal according to the rules and no radio station can do that. I have asked the authority concerned to take an undertaking from the radio station in question and return the seized equipment to it."

Latest Tweet:

Niger: Journalist Ali Soumana granted provisional release after 2 months in detention @FXISouthAfrica @amdissmedia