Srinagar: The security agencies, which are fighting tooth and nail, to tackle the increasing terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir, are facing another grave threat – telecast of banned Pakistani and Saudi Arabia TV channels in the Valley.
Over 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels are beaming direct into the homes of Kashmiris, preaching Salafist Islam and anti-India propaganda programmes, a report said on Friday.
According to The Times of India report, besides Saudi and Pakistani channels, controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s banned Peace TV is also being telecast through private cable networks in Kashmir. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a cable operator told the newspaper that almost 50,000 private cable connections are available in Srinagar, and these were broadcast Pakistani and Saudi TV channels.
The TOI report further said, the foreign channels such as 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, which are banned by the government of India are being aired in Kashmir.
The Saudi channels propagate the fundamentalist and patriarchal interpretations of Islam and Sharia.
The Pakistani channels, which are being aired illegally, air the pictures of terrorist groups such as Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba and refer the killed ones as martyrs.
Amjad Noor, who owns Site Entertainment Network (SEN), the biggest local cable network in Srinagar, as Jammu and Kashmir has its own constitution under Article 370 and a separate law, Ranbir Penal Code, Saudi and Pakistani channels were “free-to-air” and “legal”.