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Pakistan government defends PTV-Zee TV venture

The joint venture between state run Pakistan Television (PTV) and India's Zee TV is an open business deal and will have no cultural repercussions for Pakistan's society, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has told the Upper House of Parliament.

The venture is solely for broadcasting sports events, she said, underlining that Ten Sports – which has been broadcasting cricket in Pakistan for some years – is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

The Minister was responding to a widely reported adjournment motion moved by Prof Khursheed Ahmed of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.

The senator voiced concern that PTV must not provide a channel to India's Zee TV for local penetration, as that could have serious political and cultural implications. However, the Daily Times said he had no objection if the minister thought there was no hidden agenda behind the broadcasters' tie up.

Senator Azim also called for a quid pro quo action by India, to allow Pakistani TV channels to broadcast within their neighbouring country.

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