Text of report by Ghafar Ali
"90 illegal FM radio stations in NWFP"
by Pakistani newspaper Daily Times website on 8 December
Peshawar: Seminaries are illegally running more than 90 FM radio stations to broadcast their teachings in various districts of the North West Frontier Province, a source told Daily Times on Tuesday [6 December].
The source said the channels often disturbed police wireless transmissions because they operate at frequencies reserved for security agencies. He said the channels had not been allocated frequencies by the Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) but they were
using frequencies allocated for security agencies to circumvent the issue.
According to the source, 27 channels are operating illegally in Swabi district alone. The actual number could be much higher than these, which were detected by intelligence agencies. "These channels are very popular among residents as people know the religious scholars," said a Swabi resident, wishing not to be named. The source said that certain individuals in Swabi had also installed FM radio transmitters in hujras (religious gathering areas). He provided data showing that the broadcasting range was from half a kilometre to 29 kilometres radius.
Transmitters are locally manufactured and cost between Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000, and Swabi district is the main market, he added.
The source said that an FM transmitter was also installed in MNA [Member of National Assembly] Maulana Muhammad Qasim's Darul Uloom at Shergarh in Mardan, and religious sermons were aired between Fajr (morning prayers) and Isha (evening prayers). Talking to Daily Times, Naqeeb Ahmad, personal assistant to Maulana Qasim, confirmed a transmitter was installed. But he added, "We broadcast Koranic translation and ulema's speeches. We do not use the transmission to promote religious hatred."
Sources in Malakand confirmed such channels and said that sectarian leaders from different sects were using the medium to promote religious hatred against each other's sects. They added that various Sunni sects were illegally transmitting their sermons and no Shia sect was using this medium. Source: Daily Times website, Lahore, in English 8 Dec 05 (via BBCM via DXLD) WTFK? Outside 88-108 apparently (gh)
Very similar story: PAK SEMINARIES BECOME TECH SAVVY, RUN ILLEGAL FM
RADIO STATIONS Lahore | December 08, 2005 5:06:32 PM IST
(via Zacharias Liangas, DXLD)