Pak, Saudi TV channels illegally aired in Kashmir, incite people for ‘azadi’
To incite the youth in Kashmir to create unrest and stoke the fires of ‘azadi’, Saudi and Pakistani TV channels are being beamed direct to Kashmiri homes.
According to a Times of India report, over 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels, including Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV preaching Salafist Islam, and others indulging in anti-India propaganda are running without necessary clearances via private cable networks in Kashmir.
Although satellite TV service providers like Tata Sky, Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV are available in Kashmir, most people subscribe to private cable.
The report cited a cable operator saying that there are over 50,000 private cable connections in Srinagar alone, and only because these broadcast Pakistani and Saudi channels.
Besides Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV, private operators air Saudi and Pakistani channels like Saudi Sunnah, Saudi Quran, Al Arabia, Paigham, Hidayat, Noor, Madani, Sehar, Karbala, Hadi, Sehar, Ary QTV , Bethat, Ahlibat, Message, Falak, Geo News, Ary News, Dawn News, and many others, which cannot be accessed through satellite television service providers.
None of these channels is permitted to air in the rest of the country by the I&B ministry.
“No cable operator, anywhere in the country, including in Jammu & Kashmir, can run any channel other than the ones approved by the Union I&B ministry. If it is not in the permitted list of channels on the ministry website, it is being illegally broadcast. Even if it is a free-to-air channel, a private cable operator must get approval from the ministry,” Amit Katoch, director of broadcasting, I&B ministry, was quoted by Times of India as saying.
Many of the Saudi channels, which are illegally broadcasted in the Valley, broadcast the same kind of fundamentalist and patriarchal interpretations of Islam and Sharia like the banned Peace TV.
Wahabi clerics on these channels often sermonise that women should surrender before their husbands and obey their commands completely.
Most Pakistani news channels refer to the terrorists of Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkare-Taiba and other groups as "martyrs" and counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir as "human rights violations".