Broadcast of 'anti-Pakistan' foreign news channels to be shut: Cable operators

Published: November 29, 2011
The operators named BBC News as one of the channels to be closed down.

The operators named BBC News as one of the channels to be closed down.

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Cable Operators Association declared Tuesday that they will shut down all foreign news channels airing “anti-Pakistan” content from tomorrow. The decision to shut the channels comes after a media uproar both locally and abroad following a Nato air strike that killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border.

During a media conference in Lahore, the operators named BBC News as one of the channels to be closed down, citing their documentary “Secret Pakistan” as one of the reasons for the decision.

The two part documentary series which aired in Pakistan explored accusations by CIA officials and western diplomats that Pakistan was failing to live up to its alliances in the war on terror.

President of the All Pakistan Cable Operators Association Khalid Arain also demanded that Pemra revoke the landing rights of any foreign news channel that was running “anti-Pakistan propaganda”.

“We want to send them a strong message to stop this. If they
don’t stop this, then it is our right to stop them,” Arain said.

The cable operators declared that no foreign anti-Pakistan channel will “ever” be broadcast in the country.

They called on local media to tackle the ongoing negative propaganda by foreign news channels by presenting Pakistan’s viewpoint.

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Reader Comments (68)

  • muhammad behzad
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:14PM

    these cable operators should show this same speed in shutting channels when religious fanatics come on tv and declare people ‘wajib-ul-qatal),these cable guys should show this speed in shutting channels when homophobic comments on talk shows and homophobic news reports are broadcast with impunity on our tv channels.why weren’t those news channels shutwhen uleman and maulvis came on them to praise mumtaz qadri and justify his barbarity?Recommend

  • positive pakistani
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:17PM

    Great Move!


  • omer bin abdulaziz
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:18PM

    A bold decision.
    Like it, love it!!!


  • SalSal
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:18PM

    Ok eventhough I’m one of the people of the ‘ghairat brigade’ I still think this is just insane censorship!!Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:19PM

    Good decision


  • Ali
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:21PM

    An other act of “sanity”


  • KhalidW
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:23PM

    If my cable operator bans BBC News or CNN, I will immediately unsubscribe from their services. Operators take note. Its bad enough that every Pakistani news channel spews the same brainless garbage at me day after day. Is an alternative perspective too much to ask for?


  • Lobster
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:23PM

    Bans have never worked, foolish decision. What percentage of viewers watch BBC anyways? Only Urdu media (and local language media) survives.


  • waqas ahmed
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:25PM

    saw that program. it was just so absurd. people who read nothing and make up their mind by getting spoon fed information from these documentaries are the real slaves of the matrix.Recommend

  • Nov 29, 2011 - 7:28PM

    It’s a sad day in the history of journalism. BBC is world’s best and trusted news producer.
    It is sick more than unfortunate. Sorry but I do not support this kind of protest.


  • Sajid
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:30PM

    Let’s ban Toyota, Honda, and Suzuki too. Then we will become a truly pure country. That’s the last things that we are hanging by to stay in this modern civilization. We give that up, we will be back with our mules and donkey carts.


  • Nov 29, 2011 - 7:32PM

    I must add that, BBC, CNN aren’t going to lose anything. Banning foreign news channels would be one step forward for us to move our fundamental goal of remaining a backward looking society.


  • edd
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:48PM

    Good decision. After viewing ” secret Pakistan” i think it’s good enough decision. You can,t imagine that their media affter nato attack are running documentaries which tells that pakistani army supports al qaeda on the back foot


  • Nov 29, 2011 - 7:50PM

    Sajid, what and irrelevant analogy!


  • A person who loves his Country
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:50PM

    The decision for cable operators to stand against something is actually commendable… we as a nation should support their decision. Its high time we unite against all forces (be it foreign media) that attempts to tarnish the image of our COUNTRY !

    Pakistan Zindabad !


  • S.Haque
    Nov 29, 2011 - 7:58PM

    Block all news channels, websites, blogs and newspapers. Blind yourself with victim hood and blame the world for being anti-Pakistani, but if ever you manage to come out of your pathetic bubble you will find the world actually worried about Pakistan and not against it.


  • ADEEL759
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:09PM

    Already, masses see thru a prism of hate, fear and dismay, but this will further oppress the shrinking thought process that is in no progress mode anyway. Sad


  • Umer
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:15PM

    The offending documentary is on youtube.

    “Ostrich mentality” extended to all including cable operators.Recommend

  • asim
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:25PM

    No this is an absurd decision.
    You dont need to ban these channels, as we know this way what the world is saying about us, so we can be prepared to respond to them.
    Keeping ourselves in the dark of what is going outside will not help change pakistan’s perception outside.Recommend

  • Rafeek Hussain
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:27PM

    Guys why are you so upset with BBC documentary. This is ultimate truth. As long as bann is concerned, why not it bann our mullahs and political leaders who have dislodged us from every community. Why not to bring a new era where nobody can point out us. Take your green passport out of your pocket then you will see how much hated nation we are. Sigh. Recommend

  • Nov 29, 2011 - 8:37PM

    Ban everything… just show ZaidHamid channel… we will teach youth how to become defense analyst in 10 days by watching you tube videos…


  • Bilal Ali
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:38PM

    Well done ban all foreign tv channels


  • Ex
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:40PM

    Ban the bbc

    I’ve seen bbc pay people to burn flags and all it’s so called analyst are neocons


  • Waleed
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:43PM

    Anyone educated enough to understand BBC or CNN is educated enough to go to their website anyway.

    Every country has its own dark secrets and hidden sins. Our country is attempting to hide it more and more from the public. If we’re clean and did nothing wrong, why bother with all the banning? Why not let them have their say and just ramp up Pakistan’s viewpoint on local news?


  • Amir
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:46PM

    So when did the meat eating strong Pakistanis become so weak to even digest criticisms?


  • haroon
    Nov 29, 2011 - 8:55PM

    we are a people are getting dumb day by day. BBC is gonna broadcast what the think is right and image of pakistan is gonna hurt even we watch it or not. the better way. the sane way should be to listen to them and respond them with argument and with enough conviction that other people listen and agree. its out country . we love it. the point is to present ourself so other countries and people do as well. be smart not dumb.


  • pakcrisis
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:07PM

    Let’s all pull our eyes out too. Ban everything. This will be the best move forward to continue our exponential progress into the dark ages. We all have such a bright and exciting future ahead. Oh wait.. I should control my comments … otherwise they will be banned from express tribune blogs too. Wait.. that is old news. They already are banned more than half the time for anti-Pak content. haha what a joke. Recommend

  • hedgefunder
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:23PM

    Not very democratic move in country which is always bragging about democracy!!!!
    So where is the freedom of press and media ??? Let’s forget freedom of expression and religion as they already don’t exist anyway!!!!


  • Nov 29, 2011 - 9:29PM

    “If you put away those who report accurately, you’ll keep only those who know what you want to hear. I can think of nothing more poisonous than to rot in the stink of your own reflections.”

    Continue reading on Death lodge to Dune: Frank Herbert’s mirror on the future casts light on our present – Philadelphia speculative fiction |


  • sadaf imran
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:47PM

    we are becoming a joke, these kind of jazbati decisions only point to the fact that we are not dealing with the problem at all. want a better image of pakistan? MAKE A BETTER PAKISTANRecommend

  • Cynical
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:53PM

    Good strategy.
    Things we don’t see, things we don’t hear cease to exist.
    Quite simple.


  • Cosmo
    Nov 29, 2011 - 9:59PM

    The analogy makes absolute sense to me.


  • Naseer Muhammad
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:17PM

    The BBC are very negative about Pakistan especially when one compares with the coverage about India. Being British Pakistani I resent having to pay for my TV licence which directly funds the BBC. I have to watch Russia Today for a more balanced view of world events. Shame on you BBC!!!


  • Javed
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:30PM

    I actually agree with Pakistani Hindu, shutting down the channel is like closing your eyes. Its not going to make our problems go away. They will still be there when we open our eyes.


  • Aadersh
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:33PM

    When they can’t air our channels in their respective countries then y r we so eager to watch their propagandas?? Very Good Decision Indeed…


  • Ali
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:36PM

    @muhammad behzad:
    No ‘maulvi ever came on tv and condoned the act of mumtaz qadri… there is no shame in saying homosexuals are a shame to humanity.. this has been said in all western coountries and printed as such too.. just cuz you learned a word ‘homophobic’ does not mean the act can be supported.. otherwise people like you, will tomorrow start supporting act of beastiality as well.. Recommend

  • MD
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:36PM

    Though, I am an Indian, but, let me say this, the decision of Pak cable operators could never be described, by any stretch of imagination, as an act of patriotism, in fact, it amounts to an act of treason, because they are betraying their national duty by denying their audience’s inherent right to know every aspect of the truth. In India, I am vociferously opposed to the views held by Ms. Arundhati Roy, but, if she is restricted to express her views openly, I would be the first person to protest with whatever little might I posses. Because, I know that India is a huge colossal tree where every kind of life form finds shelter and solace in her lap and not all of them appear friendly to her, but, with a deeper look you will find even the worst kind of parasites do contributes to the her further growth, knowingly or unknowingly.
    Therefore, in my opinion, the mentality of the cable operators, is much more bigger enemy of Pakistan than India or the US could ever be.


  • Oz
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:41PM

    meh, they’ll be back on in a few days. It’s just cable guys being more ghairatmand than thou


  • Umer
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:51PM


    When they can’t air our channels in
    their respective countries then y r we
    so eager to watch their propagandas??

    Pakistani channels are aired in UK, Europe and US among other places.


  • Umer
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:55PM


    No ‘maulvi ever came on tv and
    condoned the act of mumtaz qadri

    Actually they did, several times. Sunni Tehrik is one of those who did. Of course they do it in style but its obvious what they are saying.


  • Ahmad
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:13PM

    A good decision………atlast…..!!!


  • Exa
    Nov 29, 2011 - 11:52PM

    Very good.,,. New York times and bbc blamed Norway terrorism on
    Muslims with out evidence

    It’s well known western corporate and state media is working in an organised fashion to character assisnate pakistan

    dr qadri had a 10,000 strong rally condemning terrorism but when a few people promote jihad they get massive air time

    It’s time to arrest and deport all bbc Urdu and bbc English journalist and ISI should expose the backers of nyt


  • God Save the Queen
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:07AM

    @Naseer Muhammad:
    Being British Pakistani I resent having to pay for my TV licence which directly funds the BBC.

    If you resent it so much, stop being a hypocrite and go back to Pakistan.


  • zain sattar
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:10AM

    lets ban those stupid indian drama channels first. . . They r polluting young minds


  • Ahmad
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:27AM

    ahaha, how about for once in their existence the powers that be trust pakistanis ability to utilize their brains and reject whatever information they find suspicious. Bans never work, never have, never will.


  • Cautious
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:29AM

    Yep – those Western infidels are probably shaking in their boots – Pakistan is going to infringe on free speech – bet they have never seen that before.


  • Faction
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:44AM

    And the death spiral continues… with the end result a tribal theocracy riven by sectarian civil war and terrorism, armed with nuclear weapons, and churning out generation after generation of hateful, fanatically religious, totalitarian, paranoid, ignorant, and suicidal citizens. Can you say World War 3?


  • Nov 30, 2011 - 1:12AM

    Like as if the PTA SMS ban copied off from an NFL list of words banned on jerseys wasn’t stupid or embarrassing enough.


  • Nov 30, 2011 - 1:15AM

    Yes…clearly this is a solution to improve our global image and turn our education deprived failed state to the top and defeat the whole evil world! /sarc

    What’s sad is that this is not being forced by Mullahs, or our democratic/autocratic government, or our hegemonic army, but very own private businesses with tacit support from our citizens who are steeped in perpetual emotional outrage and bias.

    It is like cutting off the nose to spite the face.

    How far do these xenophobic jingoist guys want to take their ‘nationalist’ delusion and denialism to the days of PTV propaganda?

    Apparently far enough to live in conspiracy fantasies and never having to deal with problems of terrorism, ethnic and sectarian disharmony and violence, drugs, climate change floods, prostitution, lack of education, corruption, lack of development, radicalism, lack of civilian institutions, foreign policy dictated by military, lack of law and order, societal intolerance, societal inequality, Balochistan racism and nationalism, misogyny, vigilantism, robberies, thefts, fraud, etc.


  • Yasir Mehmood
    Nov 30, 2011 - 1:22AM

    It has happedned before back in nov 2007 during mushys emergency. I also remember whenever they showed a documentary regarding mumbai attacks or the programme ‘dont tell my mother im in PAKISTAN’ the nat geo got blank. I WILL WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY ON YOUTUBE LOSERS


  • Nov 30, 2011 - 1:22AM

    Same kind of low self-esteem and weak prideful mentality when Musharraf tried to ban Mukhtar Mai, a brave and famous gang rape survivor, from making her US trip, because it would reflect negatively on the country, but he only made us look even dumber with the attempted ban.

    This is nothing more than promoting stupidity and backward censorship against honest journalism like an undemocratic fascist state.

    Those who can’t take criticism…please grow some skin and learn to take it and turn it into a positive image and action, by simply acknowledging, apologizing and doing the ethical thing, instead of always shooting yourselves in the foot by proving the world right with ridiculous reactions of defending the unjustifiable.

    The BBC is not FOX News….in fact your own media channels have more in common with Fox propaganda than actual journalism, and like the conservative right-wingers you too are considered low-information viewers who cannot discern facts from biased bigoted opinions and made up info.

    Perhaps the criticisms are correct, and this over-reactive defensiveness and faux outrage is proof of the culpability of your own poor state and perhaps a good time to honestly introspect why that is.


  • Talha
    Nov 30, 2011 - 1:36AM

    This is great, there was no BBC or CNN in the Islamic golden age either.


  • shah
    Nov 30, 2011 - 1:38AM

    idiotic decision….Pakistan is moving towards iranification


  • NVA
    Nov 30, 2011 - 1:45AM

    What’s next? Are they going to ban the Internet too? People can easily download the documentary from the web. Just try Google.


  • Noise
    Nov 30, 2011 - 2:08AM

    To be fair the BBC people had the ISAF commander sweating the other day when they kept asking about why his forces killed Pakistani solders for no apparent reason.


  • Menon
    Nov 30, 2011 - 2:47AM

    What is better than burying one’s head in the sand like an Ostrich? Remove U, S, and A from all text books so, young people will not mistakenly use those letters in the future by mistake. I don’t if there are similar sounding letter in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtoon, what not, if there is erase them also.

    Once the letters are erased, United States of America will cease to exist.


  • Truth not good
    Nov 30, 2011 - 3:51AM

    @Pakistani Hindu:
    People progressed despite having twitter, gmail, utube, cable news, Stop your excuses or move out ………..
    Plenty of arab and UAE channels are banned in the US. Apparently the west has’nt turned to stone age yet. Enough of foreign propaganda. Noting is un-fettered and that includes freedom of speech & expression.


  • MIDNIGHT OIL........ Beds are burning
    Nov 30, 2011 - 3:56AM

    @God Save the Queen:
    Your non white brit boy who happens to pay his taxes and fulfill his civic duty has a right to dissent and make his own choices and complain or is democracy just a sham in not so great U.K or is that uk?


  • Patrik
    Nov 30, 2011 - 4:26AM

    Sounds like Pakistan has had some coaching sessions from China. Even there they ban any news that is not to the communist party’s liking. So now we are going to behave like 5 year old children who close their ears when they don’t want to hear any criticism. This is slippery slope to dictatorship and tyranny.


  • Patrik
    Nov 30, 2011 - 4:29AM

    @zain sattar:
    Indian movies and shows are already ‘officially’ banned in Pakistan. We all know how effective that ban has been !


  • sha
    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:44AM

    Should we expect this newspaper to close aswell then?


  • AN
    Nov 30, 2011 - 2:08PM

    @Pakistani Hindu:

    Come on! We will not miss much. Though i don’t support the ban but BBC and CNN are propaganda machineries of their Govts. We can live without that.


  • Saba
    Nov 30, 2011 - 4:50PM

    What the NATO airstrike did to our brave soldiers is unforgivable.
    But it doesn’t mean that we should ban every other channel just because it is “anti-Pakistan”.Are the mindless political leaders and fanatic mullahs “pro-Pakistan”? Hiding something never helps.Ever.History has taught us that.
    Besides,just because we decided to ban their channels doesn’t mean that they’re going to stop talking about Pakistan


  • Nov 30, 2011 - 6:54PM

    The Crescent and Star on our flag should be replaced by an Ostrich with it’s head buried in the ground.


  • observer
    Nov 30, 2011 - 7:26PM

    Let us go one step further. Let us resolve that all channels at all times will only show Har Dil Aziz Dr Aamir Liaqat holding forth on qatl and rape.

    Image of Pakistan then will soar to high heavens.


  • Moin Abbasi
    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:32PM

    The biggest anti-Pakistan element is internal and not external and they have absolutely NO business deciding what news channels a subscribed paying viewer is permitted to watch. If they don’t like it, let them not watch it, simple. First censorship of text messages and now shutting down of TV news channels?? This is what you call a sham/farce democracy.Recommend

  • Ali J
    Dec 1, 2011 - 1:26AM


    tell me of one program where sunni tehrik representative came on TV and supported Mumtaz Qadri.. please forward me the link as well..And Sunni tehrik has no “Maulvis”, Do NOT ruin the title ‘maulvi’ or Maulana’ out of ignorance..or perhaps better-put ‘conditioned’ or dersire-to-fit-in need.Recommend

    Dec 19, 2011 - 8:28PM

    guys secret pakistan is actually pretty watchable coz it tells us how our ISI has been protecting our national interests.. it actually gives you relief that we have not been following orders from america or anybody for that matter ..I LOVED THE WAY AMERICANS AND BRITISHERS WERE CRYING IN THAT DOCUMENTARY TRUST ME AS A PAKISTANI U’LL LOVE IT


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