KARACHI, June 2: Office-bearers of the Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (CAP) on Saturday warned that they would take any satellite TV channel off the air if its programmes went against the ‘armed forces, judiciary and the integrity of Pakistan’.
“We have decided that we’ll not become part of any campaign which goes against the armed forces, judiciary and integrity of Pakistan and will virtually boycott the channels, which indulge in such acts,” Mr Khalid Shaikh, chairman of CAP, said at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club.
He said cable operators were receiving threats from certain political parties of attacks on their systems if they did not mend their ways.
When pressed to name the political parties hurling such threats, Khalid Arain, the Vice Chairman of the CAP, reluctantly blamed the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal for it.
Mr Arain said that even subscribers had started complaining about the `propaganda against the armed forces and the judiciary.’
“After receiving complaints from our subscribers we ourselves watched certain TV programmes and realised that these complaints are correct,” he said.
Mr Shaikh said such programmes had nothing to do with freedom of expression. “In fact the Pakistani TV channels themselves do not believe in freedom of expression.”
He said the Pakistan Broadcasters’ Association (PBA), which protects interests of all TV channels and championed the cause of freedom of expression, had demanded of the government not to permit any foreign Urdu channel to be shown in the country because it affected PBA members’ businesses.
“Such a demand nullifies the PBA’s stand that it is championing the cause of the freedom of expression and instead negates individual liberties which the PBA is trumpeting now,” Mr Shaikh said.