NEW DELHI: A decade old ban on Pakistani public and private television channels in India is due for a review, thanks to the efforts of Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbass Jilani’s strong pitch last week, the Times of India reported on Saturday.
According to the report, Jilani had said that all Indian channels were freely available in Pakistan and Islamabad has done nothing to impose restrictions on their telecast, and the measure must be reciprocated for Pakistani channels in India during talks between the two countries last week.
The Pakistani delegation went on to make a case that if India wants to burgeon people-to- people contacts, it must allow Pakistani channels into Indian homes.
The point seemed to hit home as the Indians “conveyed to them (Pakistan) that India will look positively at the proposal although the matter will have to be first discussed by the information and broadcasting ministry and its counterpart in Pakistan,” said a source, adding that PTV’s “anti-India” campaign in the past over internal issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, has been a concern.
In 2009, the Senate’s standing committee on information and broadcasting appealed to the Indian Parliament to ensure airing of Pakistani channels in India. The same Senate next year asked Pakistani cable operators to stop airing Indian TV channels citing “cultural invasion”. But with people-to-people contacts finding favour, the Pakistani request might fall on more receptive ears in New Delhi.
Both neighbours will look to seal further cultural cooperation by signing an MoU for promotion of arts and culture when Indian foreign minister S M Krishna visits Pakistan in September.
During the talks, both sides are believed to have underlined the importance of greater people-to-people contacts and friendly exchanges in building “a relationship of trust and friendship between the two countries”. These exchanges, they believed can lead to “cessation of hostile propaganda against each other”.
India to rethink ban on airing Pakistani television channels – The Express Tribune