We all know that the Cable Operators in many parts of the country have gone on strike but how many of us know the reason behind it? PEMRA asked all cable operators to stop showing Indian channels and as a protest they decided to put a self imposed ban on the Pakistani channels as well because they think that their business will suffer because of the ban on Indian channels. I think we have all discussed in detail in one of my previous articles that India has not allowed Pakistani channels access in its own country because they feel that the content is anti India. I watch many Pakistani dramas and to the best of my knowledge no Pakistani drama promotes anti Indian sentiment. It sounds like more of an excuse than anything else.
The question here is that who really is responsible for the cable operators going on strike? I think it is the viewers who are responsible, those people who despite of so much quality entertainment on our own channels cannot do without Indian channels. I personally know people myself who can’t live without watching the soaps on Sony and Star Plus. Is that bad? Most certainly not. That is their choice and they are free to watch what they want. But what is wrong is that they fail to see what is in our national interest. Is it justified that Pakistanis should drive themselves crazy watching Indian shows and channels, when the Indian government does not want to give Pakistani entertainment industry any kind of exposure on their television. I think it is a two way street and PEMRA is justified in imposing this ban and I support it wholeheartedly. If people join hands they can turn the decision of the cable operators around. I would hate to see the government succumbing to the demand of the cable operators, that to me would be like making a complete fool of ourselves and sends the wrong message. India has imposed a ban on all Pakistani channels for more than a decade now and the government has had many talks with India on the issue but they refuse to life the ban.
You can help by letting your Local cable Operator know that you will still pay his dues and use his services even if he does not promote Indian Channels. If all of us do this, there will be no reason for the strike and it will be called off soon enough. No one wants to shut down their businesses; they only do so to safeguard their own interests which are most often dependent on the viewers.