Cable operators will pull down ‘walls of oppression’ that will create hurdles for them, said President of Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (CAP) Furqan Ghiyas.
Addressing the 12th annual convention of CAP on Sunday Ghiyas said the association will not accept any injustices inflicted on their colleagues in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Among the many problems cable operators faced, load-shedding was one that was badly damaging their businesses, he said. He demanded that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) should reduce the price of ‘CD’ by 50%.
The CAP president warned a group of media that it should shun the policy of supporting ‘black sheep’ in the ranks of cable operators since this only creates difficulties for both sides.
Ghiyas said millions of rupees were received in the name of cable operators but such acts should not be allowed to continue. “The association wants to keep these elements – those who want to run the system through the law of the jungle— at a distance,” he said, adding that CAP offers a platform for those who are sincere with their community.
The senior vice president of the association Captain (Retd) Jabbar Ahmed Khan, General Secretary Imran Nadeem, Rana Ayub, K-P president Imran Nabi, Asif Suri from Sindh, Balochistan president Amir Pracha, Rana Zahid, Babar Bhatti, Sabir Shah, Zubair Khalid from Punjab, Sheikh Zafar from Rawalpindi and about 600 other cable operators from across the country participated in the convention.
Ghiyas said that their participation has proved that cable operators are united, yet it was very disappointing that a leading broadcasting organisation was spoiling the situation jointly with the black sheep in the cable operators.
Captain Jabbar said CAP was the only registered body of cable operators which has done positive work. He said that the cable operators have renewed their pledge to solve their problems on their own and will not let anybody become their godfather.
Jabbar added that from now on, no channel will be compelled to follow a certain policy by anyone and the channel owners should also not meddle in the affairs of cable operators. He claimed that he has a solution to the problems of cable operators and it will reap benefits in the future.
K-P president Imran Nabi said that Pemra was not giving any relief to them despite being aware of the existence of terrorism in the province. He said the 5% advertisement tax being received was high and the rate of should be reduced on an urgent basis.
He said that in K-P the licences of the cable operators have been cancelled and they should be immediately restored on a temporary basis at least. He demanded a clear policy for cable operators to follow.
A cable operator from Karachi, Ghofran Mujtaba, said that the cable operators have been united in the past and they are still united today, however, all they need is security. He said that the cable industry should be strengthened.
CAP senior leader from Peshawar Zubari Khalid said the association was not anyone’s personal property, therefore, elections of the association should be held. He said CAP will elect those who will work for the rights of its members.
The Azad Kashmir president Ashiq Slehria said the CD tax was adversely affecting the business of the cable operators. He demanded the authorities to draft a clear policy, which provides relief to cable operators.
The Gojranwala president Sabir Shah assured personal and financial support of the association to its members across Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2013.