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Cable operator association bans BBC broadcasts

(PPF/IFEX) - The All Pakistan Cable Operators Association (APCOA) banned the airing of British Broadcasting Company (BBC) television broadcasts following the airing of a two-part BBC documentary called "Secret Pakistan", which explored allegations that Pakistan was failing to live up to its alliances in the war on terror.

Khalid Arain, the chairman of APCOA, announced a phased-in shutdown of foreign news channels that he said are fuelling "anti-Pakistan" sentiments worldwide. He said the BBC would be blocked in the first phase and that Fox News, Sky News and CNN would be shut down in the next phase. He announced this in a press conference at the Press Club in Lahore, the capital city of Punjab province, on 29 November 2011.

Arain announced that APCOA would shut down all international broadcasts that damage Pakistan's image through biased news coverage. "We want to send them a strong message to stop this. If they don't stop this, then it is our right to stop them," Arain said.

Arain demanded the information ministry and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) revoke the landing rights of all channels airing anti-Pakistan propaganda.

The APCOA decision to block BBC World News follows an uproar in Pakistan over a NATO air strike on 26 November that killed 26 Pakistani troops in Mohmand Agency, near the Afghan border.
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