June 4, 1999
His Excellency Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister’s Secretariat
On June 2, after the launch of India’s air campaign in Kashmir’s Kargil region, Information Minister Pramod Mahajan announced that cable operators across the country are prohibited from broadcasting PTV, “which has launched a vilification campaign against India, especially in connection with the Kargil situation.” The minister added that the ban would remain in effect pending further instructions from the central government.
As an organization dedicated to the defense of press freedom around the world, CPJ urges your administration to rescind the ban on PTV. Such action is in direct contravention of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Everyone has the right to . . . seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
CPJ is particularly troubled by Mahajan’s instructions to the state governments that they must order police to take action against those cable operators who violate the ban. We also note that in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir, citizens receive PTV without cable access, and hope authorities will not punish those who exercise their right to choose their source of news.
We thank you for your attention to this matter, and await your response.
Ann K. Cooper
Join CPJ in Protesting Attacks on the Press in India
Send a letter to:
His Excellency Atal Behari Vajpayee
Prime Minister of India
Office of the Prime Minister
New Delhi 110 011, India