The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) on Tuesday strongly condemned ban on the airing of 34 Pakistani and Saudi TV channels, terming it as a violation of the Kashmiri’s right to freedom of expression. They said that this move was the proof that India was losing control over the Kashmiri people.
The government of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) has started taking initiative from earlier this week to stop the different channels from being aired because they believe it might incite violence and disrupt the law and order situation in the troubled region.
The channels banned air news, entertainment, food and cuisine, religion and sports programmes.
The APHC in a statement issued in Srinagar said, “It is quite strange to ban those channels which are specifically for Quran and religious programmes. It is a direct interference in religious matters.”
“These steps reflect their future course of targeting the Muslim community and Islam. Its repercussions may perhaps be severe if the decision is not revoked by authorities,” the statement said.
The forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the ban as shameful and said, “The real purpose behind all these actions is to isolate the Kashmiri population.”
A spokesman quoting Farooq said, “The authorities do not want the reality of Kashmir to be highlighted internationally. They do not want people of Kashmir to have access to information other than what India filters into Kashmir through its state and corporate run media,” he added.
“The restrictions on social media and TV channels in Kashmir have been imposed by the communal forces of India,” Mirwaiz said, cautioning that such restrictions could further deteriorate the situation in the territory.
The ban has come nearly two weeks after the government imposed an unprecedented ban on 22 social networking sites in IHK on April 26.