The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has blocked at least 11 Christian TV channels being ‘illegally’ run across the country .
The channels relayed religious programmes for Christians living in the country.
The move came after a raid conducted by PEMRA officials against cable operators who were violating rules, reports The Express Tribune.
The blocked channels are Isaac TV, Gawahi TV, God Bless TV, Barkat TV, Praise TV, Zindagi TV, Shine TV, Jesus TV (Jessi TV), Healing TV, Khushkhabari TV, and Catholic TV.
“These TV channels are banned in line with ongoing Pemra campaign to ban illegal channels,” said Sheikh Tahir, the regulator’s general manager media.
He said the blocked TV channels did not have licences to continue their transmissions.
Tahir clarified that there was no segregation in the name of religion.
“There are many other Indian channels which are banned and there is no special campaign against minorities,” he said.
Meanwhile, a notification issued by DG, PEMRA, Muhammad Farooq directed all regional managers to take necessary measures to stop “transmission/relaying of the above mentioned 11 illegal TV channels from cable TV networks” in the respective regions immediately.
After the move, Nadim Anthony, a Christian advocate and rights activist, termed it a blow to the Christian minority and said the blocked channels had a huge viewership, through which community members took religious guidance.
The Christian channels were blocked like the Indian DTH TV channels as if non-Muslims were also anti-Pakistan, he lamented.
Last month, PEMRA announced a complete ban on airing of Indian content in the country.