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Pakistan media regulator bans airing of Indian content on satellite TV and FM radio channels

The authority said it had decided to withdraw the 'one-sided concession' the Pervez Musharraf administration had given Indian in 2006.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority on Wednesday announced its decision to impose a blanket ban on airing Indian content on satellite TV and FM radio channels in the country. The restriction will come into effect at 3 pm on Friday, October 21, PEMRA said while addressing a press conference.

The regulator had submitted a summary on Indian content broadcast in Pakistani media to the Nawaz Sharif government, which had given it complete authority to come to a decision on the matter. PEMRA said, "At our 120th meeting today, the authority decided to withdraw the one-sided concession given to India in 2006 by the [Pervez] Musharraf administration." The statement added that they will revoke the licence of TV channels and FM radio stations without issuing any show-cause notice if they are found guilty of violating the ban.

On October 1, PEMRA had decided to ban all Indian channels that were aired in the country from October 15. The restriction came days after the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association passed a resolution disallowing Pakistani actors and technicians from taking part in Indian projects till "normalcy" returned. The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had earlier given a 48-hour deadline to all Pakistani artistes to leave India. Both moves came after the militant attack on the Indian Army camp in Kashmir's Uri sector.

Threats were also issued to Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali in Bengaluru, while singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya had criticised the Hindi film industry for what he called "breeding and feeding" Pakistani artistes. Karan Johar's upcoming film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which stars Fawad Khan, is the latest victim of outrage against Pakistani actors.

Relations between the two countries have been on a downward spiral since the Uri attack, after which the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terror launchpads along the Line of Control with Pakistan on September 29.

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