The BBC has said that it is 'deeply concerned' by Pakistan's decision to block its World News channelCredit: BBC
The BBC World News channel has been blocked across Pakistan after it broadcast a documentary deemed to be critical of the country.
The documentary, titled Secret Pakistan, explored links between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency and the Taliban, alleging that Pakistani officials were acting like an ally of the US in public while secretly training and arming Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The World News channel is carried by the Cable Association of Pakistan. According to the BBC, the company's spokesman Khalid Arain has warned other Western channels that they will be also banned if they broadcast "anti-Pakistan" content.
A BBC spokesperson said the broadcaster was "deeply concerned" by the move.
"We condemn any action that threatens our editorial independence and prevents audiences from accessing our impartial international news service. We would urge that BBC World News and other international news services are reinstated as soon as possible."
The broadcaster says that its service is no longer available in most of Pakistan's cities and it expects the ban to be extended to rural areas today.
According to AFP, a spokesman for Pakistan's media regulator PEMRA has said BBC representatives may be summoned to explain the programme.
The move follows a severe deterioration of Pakistan's relations with the US after a Nato airstrike killed 24 Pakistani troops near the Afghan border at the weekend.
Free daily newsletter
- Tip: A BBC journalist's guide to working in podcasting
- Licence fee, accountability and overseas opportunities central to BBC's future
- Newsrooms choose collaborative approach to protect journalists from online trolls
- How to make the most of mentorships throughout covid-19
- BBC director-general: "We are activists for impartiality"