Pakistan media officials are complaining about the number of DTH television boxes being smuggled into the country from India. The set-top boxes give Pakistani viewers access to hundreds of Indian and other international channels. As far as Pakistan is concerned all these channels are illegal and unlicensed.
Former information minister Javed Jabbar described the widespread availability of non-approved channels as a new and portent threat to the way broadcasting is handled in the conservative Islamic country. He is calling for Pakistan’s broadcasting regulator PEMRA to conduct a review of the role of electronic media, and to reflect the emergence of this new breed of broadcasters, which in many cases were displacing licensed media in terms of viewer popularity.