LAHORE: Unlicenced religious television channels are mushrooming on the cable networks for the last some years.
According to sources in the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), at least 21 religious channels are continuing their transmissions on the cable currently without a licence. Twelve of them are Christian religious channels and nine are Islamic channels, which are being shown from Saudi Arabia, Dubai and other countries through cable.
Sources said Pemra had issued notices to QTV and Madni TV 10 and six years ago, respectively. But they obtained stay orders from the courts and are still continuing with their transmission without getting licences from the Pemra. Even the incumbent government has failed to take any action against the unlicensed religious channels.
Some of the unlicensed religious channels include: Al-Sunnat TV, Al-Quran Kareem Mubashar, Tilawat TV, Pegham TV, Peace TV, Haq TV, Haadi TV, etc. Due to lack of clear-cut Pemra policy on the religious channels, in the beginning Islamic religious channels started their transmission on the cable and then the Christian religious channels also mushroomed on the cable. While Muslim and Christian preachers are spreading their message, there is a serious threat of preaching of idolatry or polytheism in Pakistan. The unlicensed Christian religious channels include Jesus TV, Barkat TV, Ishaq TV, Noor TV, Gawahi TV, God Bless TV, Praise TV, Zindgi TV, Shine TV, Healing TV, Khushkhabri TV, and Catholic TV, etc.
Various viewers have requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to take notice of these unlicensed channels. They said only those religious channels should be allowed which do not create any controversy and where known and competent scholars present their viewpoints.