Satellite TV channels from most of India’s neighbours figure in a list of ‘harmful’ channels compiled by Indian security forces, according to information provided to the Rajya Sabha by the government this week.
Not surprisingly, Pakistan is home to the highest number of ‘harmful’ channels, as determined by Indian security agencies.
Also interesting is the inclusion of channels from India’s other neighbours, one identified as ‘Nepal’ (presumably Nepal TV), Kantipur and ‘Bhutan Broadcasting Service’.
Also in the list is ‘Saudi TV’ and nearly all private and government-run news channels in Pakistan.
China and Sri Lanka are among the neighbours whose channels don’t figure in the list (reproduced below.)
“Security agencies have identified a list of 25 illegal foreign channels and observed that the contents of some of these channels are not conducive to the security environment in the country and pose a potential security hazard,” the government said, in reply to a question.
The Ministry said it does not directly take action against cable networks that retransmit these channels. “..the action thereunder as per the Act primarily remains in the domain of authorized [local body] officers,” it clarified.
It may also be noted that Al-Jazeera News is currently licensed to broadcast to and operate in India.
The full list:
1. Al-Jazeera News
2. Saudi TV
3. TV Maldives
4. Peace TV (Dubai)
5. Madni TV(Pakistan)
6. ARY TV
8. PTV Home
9. PTV World
11. Dawn (Pakistan)
13. Waqat (Pakistan)
16. Aaj (Pakistan)
17. NTV Bangladesh)
18. XYZ TV
20. Filmax (Pakistan)
21. STV (Pakistan)
22. Kantipur (Nepal)
23. Q TV (Pakistan)
24. Ahmedia Channel (U.K. Based)
25. Bhutan Broadcasting Service