VOA Pashto not jammed, not blocked, but not on the air via Pakistan.

Posted: 15 Dec 2009   Print   Send a link
"Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) has blocked Voice of America’s (VoA) 4-hour Pashto language programme after the latter allegedly deviated from an agreement. However, the US state-owned radio service continues to avail Radio Pakistan’s hour-long airtime for its Urdu transmission daily. 'Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation has blocked four hours of Pashto transmission of VoA, while the Urdu service is still continuing,' an official said yesterday. According to the deal, VoA would have to use PBC equipment and transmitters in Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore to air its transmission in Pashto and Urdu on Medium and FM waves." Gulf Times (Doha), 12 December 2009. The headline of this story is "PBC jams American Pashto broadcasts." But VOA's Deewa Radio Pashto broadcasts are not jammed, or even blocked by way of interdicting a signal. It is, rather, that the agreement for VOA to use the Peshawar medium wave transmitter has been disallowed, for now, by Pakistani authorities.
     "The Voice of America (VOA) is broadcasting its one-hour Urdu service from its original station in USA without any proper editing or monitoring, it is reliably learnt on Monday. 'Although announcement "You are listening Radio Ki Duniya ‘Intikhab’" is aired prior to programme, yet actually it is transmitted as it is broadcast from its original station without any editing,' sources within Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) informed TheNation. ... When contacted, PBC spokesman said VOA programmes are strictly checked, monitored and edited to safeguard the national interests of Pakistan. He said PBC has entire recordings of VOA programmes and monitoring reports are prepared for critical analysis on daily basis to ensure that nothing is against the national interests. Any violation of the agreement would result in the unilateral cancellation of the pact by involving the breaking clause of the accord, he added. He said PBC has a history of cooperation with BBC, China Radio International, VOA and Duetsche Welle, and is pursuing important agreements with Turkish Radio. It is a misperception that the VOA broadcasts from FM network will be used to unleash US Propaganda, he added." Javaid-ur-rahman, The Nation (Lahore), 15 December 2009. See previous posts on 5 December, 28 November, and 21 November 2009.
     VOA Pashto to the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier region is called Deewa Radio. VOA Pashto and Dari to Afghanistan are Radio Ashna. RFE/RL in same to Afghanistan is referred to in English as Radio Free Afghanistan, but locally as Radio Azadi. VOA Urdu is Radio Aap ki Dunyaa. My brain cannot store all these brands, so I use a cheat sheet.