Report: VOA Deewa Radio MW relay in Pakistan ended because of Taliban threats (updated).

Posted: 12 Feb 2010   Print   Send a link
"The Radio Pakistan management has decided to scrap the agreement with the Voice of America (VOA) to broadcast its pushto-language radio programmes after receiving 'direct threats' for airing 'American propaganda', Daily Times has learnt. The VOA launched its Pushto-language radio station, ‘Deeva Radio’, last year, targeting audience in the Tribal Areas and the NWFP. Deeva Radio is aimed at offering the locals with a chance to speak out against the Taliban in the region. Radio Pakistan aired Deeva Radio programmes during its prime time slot – 7pm to 10pm. A senior producer at Radio Pakistan Peshawar told Daily Times, 'The Taliban and other anti-American groups in the country threatened to bomb the Radio Pakistan Peshawar premises if the station continued airing Deeva Radio programmes'. ... However, Radio Pakistan Director General Murtaza Solangi said the state-run broadcaster aired Deeva Radio programmes during September and October. The broadcast was cancelled after a month on mutual agreement between the Radio Pakistan and the VOA." Daily Times (Lahore), 7 February 2010. VOA spells it Deewa Radio. In late 2009, Deewa Radio was relayed via Radio Pakistan's medium wave transmitter near Peshawar. Relays of VOA Urdu (Radio Aap ki Dunyaa) continue on Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation FM frequencies.
     Update: "While the Radio Pakistan management has blocked VOA Pushto-language service, after reportedly receiving threats against airing American propaganda, the VoA is still broadcasting its one-hour Urdu service from its original station in the US though without proper editing, it is learnt reliably. ... When contacted, PBC spokesman Mubashir Majoka said that after noting deviation from agreement the PBC has blocked VOA’s 4-hour Pushto language programme of VOA. “We scrap[p]ed the agreement due to some violation on contents of programme but we did not receive any threat from Taliban,” he said adding it was a misperception that VOA broadcasts from FM network of PBC will be used to unleash US propaganda. VOA programmes are under strict regime of checks and balances, monitoring and editorial guidelines to safeguard the national interests of Pakistan, he concluded." Javaid-ur-rahman, The Nation (Lahore), 12 February 2010. See previous post about same subject.