External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday said Pakistan’s ban on Indian TV and radio programmes was unfortunate, PTI reported. "It shows a lack of self-confidence on Pakistan's part," Swarup said. "It is an unfortunate development."
Swarup said the Narendra Modi government has not imposed any restriction on Pakistani artists in the country. "As far as government of India is concerned, there is no blanket ban on Pakistani artists," he said. "In view of the prevailing atmosphere and taking into account security considerations as well and sentiments of local organisers, we will do so in a case to case basis."
The government’s statement comes in the wake of the ban imposed on Indian content by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority on October 1. The media regulator announced a blanket ban on Indian content on Pakistani satellite TV and radio programmes effective from Friday.
Swarup said India was committed to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and its principles, even though it had decided not to attend the summit after a militant attack on an Army installation in Kashmir's Uri. Delhi has blamed Pakistan for the Army base attack, though Islamabad had held that the accusations were baseless.
"Our intention is not to throw out the baby with the bath water," Swarup said. "Our concern is that the cooperation that Saarc requires and the terror-free atmosphere needed for initiatives is not there due to the actions of one country in our neighbourhood.” He added that it was because of current tensions between India and Pakistan that the other member nations wrote to Saarc Chair Nepal and said it was not possible for them to participate in the meet that was to be held in Islamabad.
Addressing the issue of China’s bonhomie with Pakistan and Beijing’s stand on terror, Swarup said, "We are all aware that in our region, which country is epicentre of terrorism. There is no doubt about it at all." He added that India does have an ongoing dialogue with China on terrorism "which is a phenomenon that affects China as well and China has said so also in the past". Swarup said that India would continue talks with China on terrorism and that there were discussions scheduled with Beijing in the next two months.