Letter: Indian censors

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THE INDIAN Information Minister announced a complete ban on Pakistan Television on 2 June, when he said that "PTV, which has launched a vilification campaign against India, specially in connection with the Kargil situation, will not be allowed to be telecast by cable operators until further orders". Police have been ordered to arrest and prosecute those violating the ban.

This is the first time since the Second World War that any country professing to be democratic has taken such an extreme, arbitrary and reprehensible action to impose curbs on the free flow of information through the electronic media. This ban is a violation of Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights which says: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression... and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas." If the Indian authorities fear facts and are unable to face the truth, after Pakistan Television, it may soon be the turn of the BBC, CNN and other news organisations.

The government of Pakistan, for its part, has no intention of reciprocating, and Indian television channels continue to have access in Pakistan. Let the people judge.

KHURSHID MAHMUD KASURI

Standing Committee on

Information & Media Development

Islamabad, Pakistan

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