“Casual Artists waiting for remunerations since past two to three months”
MIRPUR (AJK): The survival of the state-run Azad Kashmir Radio Mirpur and its sister unit – FM-101, has been at stake following the recent drastic cuts by the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation in the monthly allocations of funds to run the twin organizations due to reported heavy financial constraints at the center, informed sources said.
All the three news bulletins, one each in Urdu, Pahari and Gojri, being aired from AK Radio Mirpur and FM-101, have reached to the verge of closure following the alleged 50 percent cut by the News Division of the PBC at Islamabad in the monthly allocation of funds of the expenditures to run and maintain the news section at the local broad-casting house of the medium-waved AK Radio plus FM-101.04.
The current allocated Rs. 85 thousand volume of monthly expenditures to run the news section at AK Radio Mirpur / FM-101 has been curtailed by 50 percent – which has forced the local management to reduce the numbers of news bulletins to one because of the reported scarcity of funds at the Center, according to the sources.
This could be assessed through the ugly state of affairs that the casual artists of the news section of AK Radio Mirpur / FM-101 have not been paid their due tiny-volume of remunerations against their stipulated booked performance for the past two to three months so far.
Same sorry state of affairs were also faced by the program section of AK Radio Mirpur / F-M-101 following the reported cut in the monthly expenditures to run the routine programs of infotainment from the AK Radio Mirpur, the third unit in AJK next to AK Radio Muzaffarabad and AK Radio Tararkheil.
The management of Azad Kashmir Radio Mirpur have apprised the top authorities at Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation including the head of the news division (Central News Organization) at the PBC Islamabad of the prevailing gradual affects being faced by the news section due to the lack of stipulated funds to maintain its due responsibility of bringing the current three of the news bulletins on air without any financial constraint.
It is learnt that due to heavy financial constraints at the center, 50 percent of the monthly allocated volume of funds for running the news section at AK Radio Mirpur, has been diverted by the PBC News Division authorities, to meet the overall financial needs of the Central News Organization (CNO) – setting aside the identical needs of the news sections of the Mirpur Radio-like small units, leaving a chaos about the survival of the news section at the local unit.
The state-run Radio Stations located in Azad Jammu Kashmir including Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Tarakheil have great significance and sensitivity vis-à-vis their existence in view of the importance of Kashmir issue and the exceptional responsibility of the state-run media organizations including Radio Pakistan and PTV in projecting the national Kashmir cause – which not only involve the fate of about 20 million people of Jammu & Kashmir besides for being the state of Kashmir – the life line of Pakistan. AJK-based public-sector Radio Stations cannot be treated in same manner as the small units of the PBC-controlled Radio stations local in other small cities of the country including Larkana, Haiderabad, D.I Khan etc besides any other small station.
At the same time, the radio talent including those belonging to the news section have started feeling much concerned about the prevailing bleak financial conditions of the AK Radio Mirpur / FM -101 after they were denied their monthly emoluments against their performance for the past three months by the local management due to the reported lack of due allocated funds.
The local news artists in an emergent meeting here on Saturday have appealed to the top PBC management including the high ups of the news division of the PBC to take immediate notice of the ugly situation which seemed adamant – leading to the impending closure of the news bulletins from this station (Mirpur) of the global and regional significance Azad Jammu Kashmir located close to the Line of Control in Mirpur division besides being the division of over a million of the Britain-based Kashmiri expatriates. The participants of the meeting unanimously demanded immediate restoration of the stipulated allocated funds to run the news section without any obstacle but also to increase the remunerations in view of the current price hike in the country to enable them to lend their talent for the nation through this station of national and global significance being the most developed and sensitive part of AJK being the district of over one million Kashmiri expatriates abroad especially those living in United Kingdom and various other European countries.