Tribune Take: Cable operators, more 'ghairatmand' than thou?

Published: November 30, 2011

In today’s episode of the Tribune Take we look at Pakistani cable operators taking BBC World News off-air after proclaiming to ‘ban’ the channel for airing “anti-Pakistan” programming following a NATO air strike on a Pakistani border check post that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Zarrar Khuhro, editor T-Magazine, says this move is likely a “knee-jerk” reaction based on souring US-Pak relations, as taking foreign news channels off-air will have very little impact on the likes of the BBC or CNN. Clarifying that the ban is not imposed directly by the government, he also predicts the channel will come back on-air once the climate in the country has cooled down.

“Whether its a case of the cable operators being more ghairatmand than thou, or whether they have been put up to it by the government or government agencies is of course, another question” he adds.

Khuhro, however, cautions that many in Pakistan including those in the media seem to take reports published in foreign press organizations to be the absolute truth, ignoring the fact that all media organizations have their own agendas.

Read Zarrar Khuhro’s articles here.

The Tribune Take daily news web show will appear on the home page.

The Take will feature in-depth interviews and analysis with editors and reporters who are covering the major stories, exploring front page events and major ledes. The news analysis covers the way The Express Tribune examines a story, how we cover it and why.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (17)

  • Pan Mat
    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:48PM

    Then perhaps consider banning Facebook, Google, smartphones, shampo, Mc Donalds, Reebox shoes….the list can go on…..

    Inshallah, we will truly be reliving the glory of “Old Islamic” civilization!Recommend

    Nov 30, 2011 - 8:52PM

    The cable operators appear to be under instruction from an establishment for this ban who did not want to be exposed for its acts of ommission and commission and get more flak from people of Pakistan.


  • Mirza
    Nov 30, 2011 - 9:07PM

    After successfully keeping the program “Secret Pakistan” secret from the public, BBC would be back on the air in no time. As pointed out correctly the news comments and features on any news channel are not absolute truth or a page from the Bible. In short not all programs are “news”. The comments show personal views as they see it. It is also like that the news come in bits and pieces. Just like first the NATO killed Pakistani soldiers while they were sleeping. Then the story, its timing and duration changed as more authentic info became available. If we feel something is wrong with a news feature we have every ritht to take them to the court and reply it logicaly rather than hide it. What is so explosive in the program that we are afraid for our public not to see it or we cannot counter?


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Nov 30, 2011 - 9:11PM

    BBC and CNN are anti Pakistan Channels.

    They should be banned in Pakistan for ever. Let me also write that people of Pakistan do not believe what BBC and CNN say. They have their own stories to tell in their own way and from their own point of view.

    Pakistanis knows what is right and what is wrong. We can differentiate very easily.


  • A.Khan
    Nov 30, 2011 - 9:49PM

    I think Pakistani media should play key role to form a diplomatic relationship with BBC


  • Azizullah Khan
    Nov 30, 2011 - 10:18PM

    Hats off for the Express Tribune. Such kind of activism marked by rationality, independence and pragmatism is the royal road towards real revolution( not the one promised by Imran Khan). I fully support your activism aimed at the objectives you and I know well. Thanks alot.


  • shah
    Nov 30, 2011 - 10:21PM

    who are they to ban channels? if someone does not like the contents on a channel…they should change it and watch something else.


  • Asad
    Nov 30, 2011 - 10:28PM

    the whole nation is with the cable operators. I am surprised why PEMRA allowed these western media to buy prime time and air their programs specially made for Pakistanis. If that was the case why should PEMRA kept blocking Indian channels?


  • Nabeel
    Nov 30, 2011 - 10:46PM

    There should be no such thing as a Cable operators union. And if there is it should not have rights to decide what’s objectionable or not. I think BBC is a very neutral channel. Certainly better than most of the local gossip channels disguised as news channels.


  • Hesus stole my hot rod
    Nov 30, 2011 - 11:00PM

    Before the self appointed baigarat thakedars show up, As a state policy foreign channels have been banned in the”developed” world. Just because you do not know does not mean
    it did not happen!


  • Khan jr
    Nov 30, 2011 - 11:07PM

    I wonder how much of the ban was caused by BBC’s programme Secret Pakistan, which must have surely infuriated those that matter.


  • Hedgefunder
    Nov 30, 2011 - 11:15PM

    These have no idea as to what they are doing ! Being Ghairatmand does not solve your country’s problems !! Being transparent and paying your taxes does !!! Recommend

  • Temur
    Nov 30, 2011 - 11:22PM

    Ironically they never stopped showing Bolalawood crapy movies no matter how bad the relations were with our eastern neighbour. Nobody watches BBC in Pakistan anyway, so it doesn’t make any difference.


  • Arim
    Nov 30, 2011 - 11:45PM

    Who are they to block BBC or CNN. We want to hear what their views are on matter pertaining us. And if, after all, cable operators have any problem with those channels they should go to courts and make their case. p.s: I would be really pleased if before closing BBC or CNN, if its what they are interested in, they close all those channels which Courts ordered them to do.


  • You Said It
    Dec 1, 2011 - 1:22AM

    the fact that all media organizations have their own agendas.

    What’s yours?


  • huma
    Dec 1, 2011 - 8:15AM

    @Pan Mat

    and what does the banning of BBC has to do with religion? It seems that BBC is being banned for its recent reporting on Pakistan which many consider to be propaganda. I have seen no proof anywhere that it is a religious move. If Pakistan was going to ban channels in the name of religion, there are a number of channels currently airing which would go before BBC does.


  • Dec 1, 2011 - 8:42AM

    Subversion should be blocked. Their skewed reporting, lies, hate filled opinion pieces against Pakistan should be stopped. If they can’t behave in responsible manner they should be banned.


More in Pakistan