Pak channels asked to project `2-nation theory’ on Aug 15

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/13/2019 10:33:09 AM

ISLAMABAD, Aug 12(Agencies): Even as several prominent persons in Pakistan expressed concerns over restrictions imposed by the Indian government on the media in Jammu and Kashmir, a letter of "advice" from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (PEMRA) to TV channels in the country has become the subject of ridicule on social media.
The letter lists out a host of very specific "advisories" to media houses for its coverage in the next few days, including one on "projecting the two-nation theory" and "Indian atrocities against Muslims and minorities" residing in India.
The PEMRA's advisories are for Eid-al-Adha, 14 August (Pakistan's independence day) and 15 August. In a somewhat ominous tone, the letter states, "A greater co-operation (sic) by all the licencees at this juncture is expected, please."
For 15 August, the advisory states, "Channels are requested to project two-nation theory, Indian atrocities against Muslims and minorities in India and in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir." In a similar vein, the letter also "requests" that on Eid, "no special programmes (already recorded or planned live) be aired as Eid celebrations as the same may hurt sentiments of not only our nation but also the Kashmiri brethren."
The letter was criticised by many on social media — one of whom, interestingly, is a minister in the Pakistan government. Fawad Hussain, Pakistan's federal minister for science and technology, said, "Totally unnecessary intervention; media houses...suffer millions of losses. Such actions need to be discouraged."
Several people in India also mocked PEMRA's letter, which comes at a time when Pakistan is seeking to highlight alleged encroachment on media freedom on this side of the border. Referring to the letter, senior journalist Shekhar Gupta said, "While we rightly question our Govt on media in Kashmir...Read this when you see eminent Pakistanis shed tears about media freedoms here. Orders from Pakistan’s regulator to its media on covering Kashmir. Esp point 5: promote 2-nation theory, cry for Indian Muslims."



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