Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 15:15 UK

BBC Urdu resumes on Pakistan FM

A protest against Pemra
Pemra has faced widespread criticism in Pakistan

The BBC has resumed live Urdu FM news bulletins to Pakistan through local FM partner stations.

The broadcasts were banned by Pakistan's television and radio regulator, Pemra, in 2005.

The BBC World Service then agreed that the five-minute bulletins would be pre-recorded and uploaded to a website Pemra had access to before broadcast.

BBC staff and unions say that might have led to censorship. The management say there was no interference.

All FM news was banned during the six weeks of emergency rule that President Pervez Musharraf imposed in November as part of a wider clampdown on the media.

The new government that came to power in February on a wave of opposition to Mr Musharraf says the BBC should be be able to broadcast freely in Pakistan.

"I see no reason why [the BBC] should be under any restrictions," Information Minister Sherry Rehman, a former journalist, told the BBC on Saturday.

When asked by the BBC about the existing Pemra restrictions relating to the BBC broadcasting live she said, "You have my commitment on changing that."

BBC Urdu taken off Pakistan radio
15 Nov 05 |  South Asia


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