By Malik Asad
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) has removed all permanent staff from its news and current affairs channel and detached the transmissions of four provinces from its main hook-up.
Sources in the PBC (Radio Pakistan) said during the last a few months, the management had transferred over a couple of dozen permanent staff from the channel to other operations. In a single day recently, 16 senior officials of the news and current affairs channel were sent to other services.
Prior to the removal of the permanent staff, the PBC also de-linked its Islamabad station from the four provinces.
Known as the National Broadcast Service (NBS), the transmission was launched in August 2008 by the then PPP government by integrating all the regional transmitters in the four provinces into one stream. The duration of the service was 17 hours a day – from 7am to midnight.
The service covered nine regional languages: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Saraiki, Potohari, Balti, Shina and Brauhi.
These programmes were related to cultural values, lifestyle of different regions as well as local, regional and national affairs.
However, the incumbent PBC administration closed the regional languages transmission and detached the transmission of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Balochistan from the Islamabad station, the sources in the PBC said.
On May 29, 2014, the PBC transferred its 16 officials – one deputy controller, eight senior producers, three assistant producers and four resource persons – from the NBS service to the FM, external services and other stations.
The sources said soon after the term of the previous government of expired in April last year, Samina Khalid Pervez, the successor to former director general Murtaza Solangi, changed the name of the NBS into News and Current Affairs Channel. Ms Pervez also reduced the transmission from 17 hours to six hours a day.–Dawn