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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 00:43 GMT
BBC Urdu taken off Pakistan radio
A Pakistani man amid the rubble of October's earthquake
Pakistan's leaders have called for aid to help relief and rescue
Pakistan's government has penalised three broadcast partners of the BBC's Urdu service for broadcasting special coverage of the Kashmir earthquake.

The stations were accused of breaking regulations by re-broadcasting material from a foreign news organisation.

Police seized broadcasting equipment and closed the offices of Karachi-based Mast FM, and ordered two satellite TV stations to stop using BBC broadcasts.

BBC programmes will still be available in Pakistan on medium and short wave.

Police in Karachi entered the offices of Mast FM with officials from the Pakistani Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

The station, which broadcasts BBC programming in Urdu to four Pakistani cities, had been carrying special extended coverage for a Pakistani audience since the earthquake in October.

The station denies any wrongdoing.

The two satellite broadcasters, Rang and Vibe, were not closed down, but instead ordered to stop carrying BBC news.

The Pakistani information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, declined to comment on the issue.


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