Pakistan 2nd Biggest Digital Audience Of DD And All India Radio

Pakistan 2nd Biggest Digital Audience Of DD And All India Radio

With India’s neighbour Pakistan featuring in the top digital audience of DD and All India Radio of Prasar Bharati, let us look at some stats revealed by the latter as well as one notable incident regarding India, Balochistan, Pakistan and All India Radio.

Crux of the Matter

Before We Start
Prasar Bharati is the statutory autonomous body functioning as India’s Public Service Broadcaster. It consists of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).

100% Digital Growth

  • Digital channels of Prasar Bharati registered more than 100% growth in 2020.
  • Prasar Bharati app (NewsOnAir) added more than 2.5 million users in 2020 as well as received more than 300 million views.
  • Channels across Doordarshan and Akashvani received more than 1 billion digital views.
  • Most popular digital videos included Prime Minister’s interactions with school students, Republic Day parade 2020 and a rare video of mathematician Shakuntala Devi from DD National archives.

Audience From The Neighbourhood

  • Pakistan was the 2nd largest “digital audience” for DD and AIR content after people inside India.
  • The US was the 3rd largest digital audience.
  • One notable incident of AIR also associated with Pakistan and its annexation of Balochistan.

Balochistan In 1947

  • As per the Foreign Policy Centre of the UK, most of Balochistan was known as Kalat before 1947.
  • Remained independent for 7 months after Indian independence and partition in 1947.

Infamous Menon Declaration

  • 27 March 1948: V P Menon, Secretary in Ministry of States, made a statement on All India Radio.
  • Menon claimed that Kalat “was pressing” to join India but the latter rejected it.

2 versions exist:

  • King of Kalat had never discussed joining India and was in touch with both India and Pakistan to prevent invasion from the latter.
  • Kalat wanted independence but asked to join India amidst Pakistani threat, which India rejected.

Damage Done

  • Either way, the damage was done.
  • Sardar Patel immediately denied that any such request was put, and so did PM Nehru.
  • However, it proved a bit too late, as the AIR broadcast was heard by King of Kalat and also reported by Pakistani Government.
  • In less than a week, Pakistani Army annexed Kalat and captured the King.

Balochistan has since been a part of Pakistan. However, both share a strained relationship due to reported violent suppression by the latter continuing even today.

  • The Prasar Bharati Act provides for the establishment of a Broadcasting Corporation, to be known as Prasar Bharati, and define its composition, functions, and powers. The Act received the assent of the President of India on 12 September 1990 after being unanimously passed by Parliament. It was finally implemented in November 1997.
  • Akashvani is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘celestial announcement‘ or ‘voice from the sky/heaven‘. ‘Akashvani’ was first used in the context of radio by M. V. Gopalaswami in 1936 after setting up India’s first private radio station in his residence; Akashvani was later adopted as All India Radio’s on-air name in 1957; given its literal meaning in Sanskrit, it was believed to be a more than a suitable name for a broadcaster.
  • Krishi Darshan debuted on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967 and is Indian television’s longest-running program. In 2015, it was shifted from DD National and airs on DD Kisan, but also airs on the former channel.

On Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan & Unrest In Pakistan & PoK

On Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan & Unrest In Pakistan & PoK

As strong protests have erupted in the Sindh and the Gilgit-Baltistan regions of Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) respectively, let us look at the reasons for the protests while also examining their relationship with Pakistan.

Crux of the Matter

Police v/s Paramilitary In Sindh
Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar, Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Sindh, was allegedly “abducted” by paramilitary troops recently. Mahar was reportedly forced to sign the arrest order for Safdar Awan, who is the son-in-law of the3-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Sindh Government, under which the Sindh police functions, claimed that they didn’t issue arrest order and the IGP was forced by troops.

Majority of Sindh police, including 3 Additional IGs, 30 SSPs, 25 DIGs, and several SPs, DSPs and SHOs etc, has applied for leave in protest. However, IGP Mahar asked to defer the applications for 10 days after Pakistan Army chief ordered investigation into the case.

Why Was Safdar Arrested?

  • Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) started protests in Karachi against PM Imran Khan for Government failure and the military for rigging elections.
  • Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, lead by Maryam Nawaz, is a part of the protest. Maryam is the daughter of 3-time PM Nawaz Sharif and wife of Safdar Awan.
  • Safdar Awan was arrested after the protests, allegedly for disrespecting Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Nawaz Sharif Angle
Safdar Awan’s arrest has more to do with his relation to former PM Nawaz Sharif.

  • 1990: Sharif became PM. Removed by the President in 1993, and resigned after the Supreme Court reinstated him.
  • 1997: Elected as the PM for the second time – removed in a military coup by General Pervez Musharraf in 1999.
  • 2013: Elected as the PM for the third time – removed by the Supreme Court over corruption charges.
  • Sharif has been in exile since, currently being in London.

Gilgit Baltistan Protests
Protests in the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) have continued for the third week running. The protests have occurred against the human rights violation in the region, and have demanded to free the political prisoners.

The protests have been initiated at a time when PM Imran Khan announced to make GB Pakistan’s fifth province. In return, the protesters have claimed: “We are not part of Pakistan [and] Pakistan constitution does not apply to us”.

History Of Gilgit-Baltistan

  • Gilgit was a part of Jammu & Kashmir before being leased to the British in 1935 for 90 years by J&K Maharaja.
  • The British appointed Gilgit Scouts for security in the region.
  • 1947: Gilgit was returned to India after the British terminated the lease. 2 Gilgit scouts, Major W A Brown and Captain A S Mathieson were loaned to Maharaja.
  • Major Brown imprisoned Brigadier of J&K forces as soon as Maharaja opted to join India.
  • 2 November 1947: Pakistan flag was hoisted in Gilgit by Major Brown.
  • 1970s: PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto removed law regarding the region’s demographics. It facilitated the settling of Pakistani Sunnis in the Shia dominated region. Thousands of local Shias have been killed in riots allegedly backed by Pakistan Government since.
  • Gilgit has no representation in the Pakistan Parliament. It was renamed as Gilgit-Baltistan in 2009.
  • Locals have alleged that they receive negligible support from the Pakistan Government in return for the exploitation of resources by them. The resource exploitation is expected to increase amidst China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • India’s stance: GB is part of Jammu & Kashmir and is illegally occupied by Pakistan.

Read More: From Balochistan To Islamabad – Pakistan’s Internal Turmoil

  • Makli Necropolis is one of the largest funerary sites in the world, spread over an area of 10 kilometres in the Pakistani province of Sindh. The site houses approximately 500,000 to 1 million tombs built over the course of a 400 year period. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 as an “outstanding testament” to Sindhi civilization. 
  • The word Sindh is derived from the Sanskrit term Sindhu (literally meaning “river”), which is a reference to the Indus River. The Greeks who conquered Sindh in 325 BC under the command of Alexander the Great rendered it as Indós, hence the modern Indus.
  • The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation recognises eight-thousanders as the 14 mountains that are more than 8,000 metres in height above sea level. Gilgit-Baltistan is home to five “eight-thousanders”.

Saudi No More A Big Brother To Pakistan?

Saudi No More A Big Brother To Pakistan?

Saudi Arabia recently displayed hostility towards Pakistan by withdrawing its aid after the latter criticized it for its neutrality regarding certain issues. Let us take a look at the recent history between the two and what led to this move.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Animosity
Saudi Arabia recently asked Pakistan to immediately repay $1 billion of its total $3 billion loan, for which the latter had to borrow $1 billion from China, which otherwise it was unable to pay.

The loan is a part of a $6.2 billion financial package, which Saudi Arabia provided to Pakistan in 2018. $3 billion of the package was directly in loan to help Pakistan repay several of its loans, and this was to be paid in installments by 2021. The remaining $3.2 billion was in the form of “deferred” oil supply – Pakistan was supplied oil for which it had to pay later.

The current decision to withdraw the aid forced Pakistan to repay the loan immediately while its oil supply from Saudi Arabia has been terminated.

Why It Happened?
Pakistan has been attempting to call a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) over the Kashmir issue and has been hostile since India abrogated Article 370 from the Jammu & Kashmir state. Saudi Arabia did not openly back Pakistan in the conflict, while several nations of the OIC like the UAE, Oman, Maldives supported India by labeling Kashmir issue as an “internal matter” of India.

Pakistan recently claimed it will go ahead “with or without” Saudi Arabia and the OIC if they do not support it against India, and also claimed that Saudi Arabia is not “doing enough” regarding the Kashmir issue. In return, Saudi terminated the financial aid and the oil supply to Pakistan.

Recent Saudi-Pakistan Relations

  • 2018: Pakistan attended the Saudi summit even after several organizations and countries boycotted the event. The boycott occurred over the killing of a Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, who was reportedly killed by Saudi agents.
  • 2018: Saudi extended a $6.2 billion aid to Pakistan.
  • 2019: Pakistan PM Imran Khan himself drove Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from airport when he visited Pakistan. Prince Salman declared himself an “ambassador” of Pakistan in Saudi while returning the gratitude.
  • The House of Saud is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. It is composed of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the Emirate of Diriyah, known as the First Saudi State.
  • The Reko Diq mine is a large copper mine located in the south-west part of Pakistan in Balochistan province. Reko Diq represents one of the largest copper reserves in Pakistan and in the world. The mineral resource at Reko Diq is estimated at 5.9 billion tonnes with an average copper grade of 0.41% and an average gold grade of 0.22 g/tonne.
  • Najd is a geographical central region of Saudi Arabia that accounts for about a third of the population of the country. Najd consists of the modern administrative regions of Riyadh, Sudair, Al-Qassim, and Ha’il.

India Shows Pakistan Mirror at UNHRC

In the ongoing session on Human Rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), India has portrayed a strong anti-terrorism view. Pakistan’s attempt to internationalize the Kashmir issue was slammed by India by showing it a mirror of terrorism and other nefarious activities.

Crux of the Matter

India Strong at UNHRC
India slammed Pakistan at UNHRC for supporting terrorism in the state. Pakistan tried to internationalize the ‘Abrogation of Article 370’ by stating that India violated Human Rights in the Valley.

Stop public advocacy and support for terrorists by Pakistani leadership at the highest level, end illegal and forcible occupation and reverse the demographic changes in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and take structural reforms to develop a semblance of democracy in Pakistan.

– Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission

In turn, India criticized Pakistan for violating the human rights of its citizens and promoting regional instability by giving shelter to terrorist organizations like JeM in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). India came up with a list of recommendations for Pakistan.

Last year, in Pulwama 40 CRPF jawans died as a result of an attack on an army convoy. Since then NIA ( National Intelligence Agency) has been finding the faces behind the attack. Recently NIA informed that Sakhir Bashir Magery confessed that he had given shelter to Adil Ahmad Dar and Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq in his house.

The agency further added that Magrey, who owns a furniture shop, “provided shelter and other logistical assistance to the suicide-bomber Adil Ahmad Dar. He was introduced to Adil Ahmad Dar in mid-2018 by a Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Umar Farooq and he became a full-time OGW of JeM.”

Facing persistent terrorist activities from Pakistan sponsored and motivated terrorists, India slammed Pakistan at every front for not curbing terrorist activities in the state.


Human Rights in Pakistan – Pakistan is known for widespread discrimination against religious minorities, with attacks against Christians, Hindus, Ahmadiyya, Shia, Sufi and Sikh communities being widespread. These attacks are usually blamed on religious extremists but certain laws in the Pakistan Criminal Code and government inaction have only caused these attacks to surge higher. Sunni militant groups operate with impunity across Pakistan, as law enforcement officials either turn a blind eye or appear helpless to prevent widespread attacks against religious minorities.

The increasing Islamization has caused many Hindus to leave Hinduism and seek emancipation by converting to other faiths such as Buddhism and Christianity. Such Islamization include the blasphemy laws, which make it dangerous for religious minorities to express themselves freely and engage freely in religious and cultural activities.

Minority members of the Pakistan National Assembly have alleged that Hindus were being hounded and humiliated to force them to leave Pakistan. Hindu women have been known to be victims of kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam. Hindus in what is now Pakistan have declined from 23% of the total population in 1947 to 1.5% today. Pakistan has been condemned for systematic state-sponsored religious discrimination against Hindus through bigoted “anti-blasphemy” laws. There are numerous reports of millions of Hindus being held as “bonded laborers” in slavery-like conditions in rural Pakistan, something repeatedly ignored by the Pakistani government. More Info

Malaysia Political Mayhem: Will India Strongarm Pak ally?

After a tussle between coalition parties, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, world’s oldest leader – aged 94, has resigned from his post on February 24. Change in Malaysian government presents Malaysia an opportunity to resolve its spat with India. India’s ties with this Pakistan-ally deteriorated after Mahathir criticized CAA and the Abrogation of Article 370. In retaliation, India had curbed Palm Oil imports from Malaysia.

Crux of the Matter

Betrayal = Politics?
Malaysian politics saw a number of twists and turns in the last 2 days involving a series of events leading to the collapse of the government.

The ‘Pact of Hope’ alliance came into crisis after rivals within the coalition and opposition politicians held talks to try to form a new government. Mahathir’s Malaysian United Indigenous Party met officials of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the Islamist PAS party.

After unsuccessful talks between the coalition of PM Mahathir’s Party and Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party (PKR) on February 22 and 23, Mahathir’s Malaysian United Indigenous Party quit the coalition leading to the collapse of the government.

On February 24, Anwar Ibrahim denounced a betrayal by saying, “those within my party and outside both were trying to bring down the government.” He also accused Mahathir’s party as ‘traitors’ of plotting to form a new government with the UMNO.

The PM had resigned not because he wanted to outmaneuver Mr. Anwar but because he was disgusted with members of his coalition who had plotted to join with UMNO.

– Lim Guan Eng, Malaysian Finance Minister

Adding to the turmoil Mahathir announced that he had quit his own party. Later he submitted his resignation to the king after which he was asked to remain as an interim PM. Anwar’s party also saw a split as the Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali quit the party with 10 of its elected members.

Foes became Friends
Anwar had served as Mahathir’s deputy during his first term as PM but he was sacked in 1998 after a disagreement on managing the financial crisis at the time. This lead to deteriorating ties between them and later Anwar was jailed for sodomy. In 2018, Anwar and Mahathir united to form a coalition which led to a landslide victory in the general elections and ousted the UMNO party that ruled over 6-decades.

In their alliance, it was agreed that Dr. Mahathir would eventually hand power to Mr. Anwar but the current political scenario suggests that Mr. Anwar’s party would be kept out of power. Dr. Mahathir has repeatedly resisted transferring power to Anwar which resulted in the increased tensions within the alliance.

Indo-Malay Spat
India imports nearly 4.4 million metric tons of palm oil from Malaysia. After strong remarks by the Malaysian PM on India’s decisions of Article 370 and Citizenship Amendment Act restrictions were put on on import of palm oil resulting in huge losses for Malaysia.

In October 2019, Malaysian PM Mahathir had said, ‘India invaded and occupied Kashmir‘ and In December he said, he was ‘sorry to see that India, which claims to be a secular state, is now taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship.’

To compensate this loss, Pakistan had jumped in and had announced to buy more palm oil from Malaysia. Malaysia expressed its desire to solve the trade spat through diplomatic talks in Davos but the Indian Commerce Ministry has repeatedly objected to Mahathir’s statements and refused all discussions.


Mahathir bin Mohamad is a Malaysian politician who previously served as the prime minister of Malaysia. He was appointed prime minister in 1981, retired in 2003, and returned to the office in 2018. He is the chairman of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, as well as a member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Langkawi constituency in the state of Kedah. Mahathir’s political career has spanned more than 70 years starting with his participation in protests against non-Malays gaining Malaysian citizenship during the Malayan Union through to forming his own party, the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (PPBM), in 2016. More Info

Anwar bin Ibrahim is a Malaysian politician who is currently the president of the People’s Justice Party. Anwar had served as the Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998 and Finance Minister from 1991 to 1998 when he was a member of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). However, he was removed from his post by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and jailed in April 1999. He was the Leader of the Opposition from 2008 to 2015. Anwar was sentenced to five-year imprisonment after a second sodomy conviction in 2015. He received a royal pardon from Sultan Muhammad V and was released from prison in May 2018 in the aftermath of Pakatan Harapan victory in 2018 general election. After which he made a come back as an MP by contesting and winning the Port Dickson by-election. More Info