Authorities stop sale of satellite dishes in Islamabad
* Prices of satellite dish antennae rise in Rawalpindi and Islamabad
By Aamir Yasin
RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: Authorities stopped the sale of satellite dish antennae on Tuesday in a bid to prevent people from accessing private TV channels for the latest political developments concerning the state of emergency.
Police visited various markets in and around the twin cities and verbally ordered shopkeepers selling dish antennae to close down their shops or face stern action.
Price hike: The government has already pulled news channels and cable networks are only airing entertainment channels, a move that caused a sharp increase in the sale of dish antennae and digital receivers nationwide. The price of a dish antenna rose from Rs 5,500 to Rs 9,000 in Rawalpindi and from Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000 in Islamabad as a result.
In Rawalpindi, shopkeepers told Daily Times that police visited Imperial Market, Raja Bazaar, Iqbal Road, Commercial Market, Chotta Bazaar, Saddar and DAV College Road and told shopkeepers to close their stores immediately.
Plainclothesmen were deployed in and around the markets to keep an eye on the shops that dealt in dish antennae and accessories.
Muhammad Kareem, a shopkeeper in the electronics market on DAV College Road, said that the demand for dish antennae had risen tremendously after the state of emergency was imposed in the country and that he had sold more than 50 sets.
“There are two main wholesale dealers of dish antennae in Rawalpindi – Kamran Electronics and Antennaways - and they had to close their shops,” Kaleem Ahmad, a shopkeeper, said.
In Islamabad, dish antenna shops in Aabpara, Blue Area, Super Market, Jinnah Super Market, F-10, G-8, G-9 and other markets were closed. However, the sale of dish antennae continues, as people are willing to pay extra to get them on the black market.