Pak to allow telecast of 5 Star channels

Within a week of asking cable TV operators to refrain from relaying Indian satellite channels, the Pakistan Telecom Authority has re-allowed transmission of five Star TV channels.

The PTA on Friday issued instructions that ESPN, Star Sports, Fox News, Sky News and the National Geographic channels would return to screens from today. 

However, the ban on Star Gold, Star News, Sony, B4U and the Zee network of channels among others would remain in place, the PTA has said in a statement.

On 31 December, chief of the Pakistan Telecom Authority Maj Gen Shabzada Alam Malik had warned that cable operators defying the ban would be penalised and their license cancelled. 

Correspondingly, though, Indian authorities are yet to take a decision on whether PTV should be banned here.

District authorities in Meerut last week banned telecast of PTV channel through cable operators till January 25, 2002, to check "anti-national publicity". 

Meanwhile, the Central Monitoring Service, under the I&B Ministry, is continuing the stepped-up content monitoring exercise of different television and radio channels it instituted at the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.

PTV is being monitored round the clock, with not just news bulletins under close scrutiny, but also discussions and talks shows that are telecast on the channel. Audio visual recordings of panel discussions and programmes on Kashmir are being forwarded to the screening committee in the I&B ministry every day. Inputs from the CMS, the ministry of External Affairs and the committee of secretaries will be used to take a decision on the future of PTV. 

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