The Pakistani Senate or upper house has asked cable operators to stop airing Indian television channels to prevent the “cultural invasion of Pakistan”.
The decision was taken during a high-level meeting of the Senate’s standing committee on information and broadcasting. Committee member Senator Tariq Azeem said he had twice adopted resolutions recommending a ban on Indian television channels, but these were not implemented because of the strong pro-Indian lobby in the ministry of culture.
After hours of debate, the committee unanimously urged the federal government to impose a complete ban on Indian channels across Pakistan, mainly to block “cultural invasion”. The committee was of the view that any further delay in banning the channels would prove disastrous.
The committee also said that more than 80% of the country’s population watches the state-run Pakistan Television, so its programming should reflect national sentiments and aspirations.
Minister for information and broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said the committee was preparing a new media code of conduct and would submit its proposals within a few days after which the ministry would think how to implement them.