Cabinet bans telecast of IPL matches in Pakistan after Indian ‘propaganda’

The federal cabinet on Tuesday banned the telecast of Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches in Pakistan in the wake of “propaganda” carried out by India against Pakistan in recent weeks, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced.

Addressing a news conference following a cabinet meeting, Chaudhry said the government believes that political conflicts should not be allowed to impact sports and culture.

“However, we saw the attitude that [India] maintained against Pakistani citizens, actors, artists and cricketers,” the minister said, adding that the wearing of military caps by Indian cricket players during a match against Australia was “the limit” for Pakistan.

Additionally, Chaudhry recalled that the official Indian broadcaster was made to pull out of the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the middle of the tournament following the Pulwama attack in order to harm the league.

He said the Ministry of Information had proposed the cabinet ban on IPL because after “India made an organised effort to harm cricket in Pakistan, it doesn’t make sense for us to allow an Indian domestic tournament to be promoted here”.

After the cabinet’s endorsement of the ban, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) will ensure that IPL matches are not shown on any TV channels, Chaudhry said.

‘BISP name not being changed’

The minister announced that the cabinet had decided to raise a new division for poverty alleviation, which he claimed was a first in Pakistan’s history. It will be called the Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Division.

He said the recent controversy regarding reports of a planned change in the name of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was discussed by the cabinet, and clarified that “the name of the programme is not being amended.”

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