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Cable services remain suspended for indefinite period across Pakistan

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KARACHI: Cable operators’ suspension of services continued on Tuesday in various parts of the country following a strike call after refusal from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to postpone the auction of Direct-to-Home (DTH) service licences.

To everyone’s surprise, the cable services were suspended in several cities of the country including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta on Monday after Pemra refused to nudge on the auction of DTH service licences on November 23 and talks between the cable operators and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar failed.

By the time, this story was being filed, apart from the aforementioned cities, cable services were suspended in Multan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Chiniot, Sahiwal, Sukkur, Dadu, Jafferabad and several others big or small cities of the country in protest.

Cable operators in a statement issued yesterday had announced to suspend their services for an indefinite period until Pemra reviews its decision to auction DTH.

They were demanding that the policy of DTH be suspended for at least three years. However, Pemra insisted that the operators were told the policy would become operational after a year.

The media regulatory body also clarified that the auction of DTH would be on time, come what may, following which the cable operators gave a call to shut down their services for an indefinite period.

Later, the cable operators also met with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who also reportedly refused to agree to their demands.

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