ISLAMABAD, Jan 1: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has not banned 35 foreign channels but have been put off air temporarily. Pemra executive member Shahid Humayun told reporters that the authority had asked these foreign channels to get landing rights in order to broadcast their programmes otherwise the authority would off-air them. But so far, 50 per cent had applied for the landing rights while action had been taken against those that failed to do so.

He said the authority did not believe in pre-censorship, but it had provided broad outlines to licences in the form of code of conduct for self-regulation.

He said Pemra was determined to promote and develop electronic media in Pakistan in order to “foster our own cultural values”.

He explicitly mentioned that the government had permitted the establishment of private radio channels in Pakistan for the promotion of local content to educate, inform and entertain public. He said foreign channels, which contravene Pemra Rules and Regulations, would be dealt with sternly as per the authority laws.

He said the authority had so far issued licences to 16 TV channels out of which 11 had started their transmission.

He said about 90 licences were issued to FM radio stations and so far 40 had gone on air.

Mr Shahid said Pemra had taken a number of steps to control propagation of obscenity and pornography by Cable TV operators. —Online

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