BBC gagged

Published: Thursday 15 December 2005

-- Earthquake Pakistan

The Pakistan government has clamped down on three broadcast partners of the British Broadcasting Corporation's Urdu service for broadcasting special coverage of the Kashmir earthquake. The stations were accused of breaking Pakistan's regulations against re-broadcasting material from a foreign news organisation.

At the receiving end of the drive were the Karachi-based Mast fm and satellite broadcasters, Rang and Vibe. The police seized broadcasting equipment from the former and ordered the satellite broadcasters to stop using bbc broadcasts.

Mast fm, which broadcasts bbc Urdu programmes to four Pakistani cities, had been carrying special extended programmes since the October 8, 2005 earthquake. The station denied any wrong-doing. Pakistan's information minister, Sheikh Ahmad Rashid declined to comment.

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