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Govt can not censor the contents of private television channels

Islamabad: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar info_TUJFATAgroupZaman Kaira Wednesday said censor of the contents of private television channels is not possible as the country does not have required facilities in this regard.

Answering the questions of Senators, he said Pakistan was adhering to open sky policy. World has turned into a global village hence it is difficult for the regulator to restrict its airwaves for the foreign media/content.However the policy of allowing foreign content on Pakistani satellite channels is being reviewed.He said PEMRA is not a censoring body. It only regulates the contents under the regulatory framework.

Pakistan Electric Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has the capacity to monitor only 50 channels out of a total of 80 channels. Huge investment is needed to strengthen and better equip the PEMRA.
Answering to the question of Tahir Hussain Mashhadi he said the precise definition of obscenity is not possible. Even Supreme Court of Pakistan is failed to define obscenity.He urged the Senators to sit together and define policy of showing what is in accordance with the diverse culture of Pakistan.Regarding showing foreign dramas on Urdu channel, he said the government had only granted landing rights to the channel.

On receiving complaints the channel was banned however it got stay order from the Supreme Court.The matter is sub judiced now. The government will implement the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan in this regard. PEMRA allows telecasting 10 percent of foreign content as per their license terms and conditions. The foreign content may include dramas, magazine program, feature films etc.
Channels are obliged to relay 90 percent of indigenously produced content which indeed protects local talent and dramas industry.

Private TV channels are allowed to telecast 10 percent of foreign content as per their license terms and conditions. Giving breakdown of 10 percent foreign content, he said 6 percent Indian content and 4 percent content in any other foreign language is cast.

Answering the question of Ms Nuzhat Sadiq, Kaira said PEMRA has not received any direction from the Supreme Court regarding banning issuing license to Indian Satellite TV channels. No ban on the licensing of Indian channels has been imposed.

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