May 2019 News

MHA Moves To Counter Pak Misinformation Campaign

30 May 2019
The Tribune
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: Taking a serious note of a report published in The Tribune, the Union Home Ministry has directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) to take effective steps to counter Pakistan's psychological war through FM radio stations. In a letter written to the Secretary, I&B ministry, on May 17, 2019, the department of Jammu and Kashmir Affairs in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed it to set up FM radio broadcasting stations near the border to counter Pakistan's vicious propaganda. In the letter, the MHA has specifically quoted the report published in The Tribune regarding setting up of FM stations by the Pakistani authorities to intensify psychological warfare in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. The Tribune had reported in its November 22, 2018, edition that Pakistan had set up at least 15 round-the-clock FM stations to hurl the choicest invectives at India. The operation of radio stations by Pakistan has been documented in a post-doctoral research conducted by Rajesh Bhat, who is currently working in the policy division of the Directorate of All India Radio, New Delhi. 'An article captioned, 'Pakistan's psychological war on through 15 FM stations', published in The Tribune on November 22, 2018, revealed that Pakistani FM channels had been detected in various areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab', the letter mentioned, adding, 'These channels while broadcasting news on Jammu and Kashmir reflected alleged atrocities committed by Indian security forces on Kashmiris and justified bandh calls given by Hurriyat leaders besides condemning restrictions in Kashmir... However, the impact of these channels was found negligible in most parts of Punjab'. Directions to I&B ministry : Set up FM radio stations and repeater stations in the border areas affected by Pakistan propaganda Encourage community FM radio stations. Selective jamming of frequencies used by FM stations across the border. Running parallel FM station with high-signal intensity along with formulation of specific programmes. Take up issue of 'cross-border pilferage' of FM radio transmission in bilateral talks, regional cooperation summits and International Telecommunication Union.

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