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February 10, 2015

Pemra drive against illegal Indian DTH hits snags


February 10, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Certain pro-Indian officials working within Government of Pakistan have surfaced in Rahwali area of Gujranwala. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) officials reveal that their drive against illegal Indian DTH services across the country hit snags on Monday when some powerful government officers jumped in to support the lobby generating billions of rupees per annum in terms of advertisements and DTH fee for the Indian kitty.
According to Pemra calculations, there are more than three million subscribers of Indian DTH in Pakistan, all operating illegally, contributing more than Rs180 million in terms of DTH fee per month and billions per month in terms of advertisement revenue because of increase in viewership of Indian channels which accumulate tens of billions per annum for the Indian economy. According to Pemra officials, there are certain elements in government which work for Indian business interests in Pakistan. Pemra officials revealed that it came into notice of the Authority that huge money is being transferred to India because of illegal Indian DTH operations in Pakistan and the Indian government and channels are earning huge revenues from Pakistan market. They said that Pemra launched a nation-wide drive across the country to confiscate illegal Indian DTH equipment. However, they said, a very senior government official called regional general manager of Pemra, Gujranwala on Monday and ordered him to return confiscated Indian DTH equipment to the illegal operator. On refusal, the senior government officer along with seven other government people reached Pemra office in Rahwali, Gujranwala and threatened Pemra staff to return the confiscated illegal smuggled Indian DTH to the operator or face consequences.
Liaquat Shah, RGM Pemra, Gujranwala while talking to The News confirmed that one government officer, Imran called him from a cell number 0333-0355** and ordered to return the confiscated DTH to operator. “I informed

him that the smuggled illegal equipment cannot be returned in any case,” said Liaquat Shah, adding, “After my refusal the said government officer along with some other government people reached Pemra office and tried to pressurise us to return the confiscated equipment.” He said Pemra staff told the visiting officer that these operations are benefiting the Indian government illegally and thus the illegal equipment will not be returned come what may.
However, he said, the visiting officers were hell bend to get the DTH released in any case. He said Pemra office and officers are under grave threat now from these officers who are supporting those working for Indian financial interests in Pakistan.
Liaquat told The News that he has informed his high-ups about the issue. Top Pemra officials confirmed that issues will be taken up at highest level and action will be initiated against those who want to support Indian financial interests illegally in Pakistan.

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