Music, music and music — this is the FM radio world
By Zulfiqar Ghuman
ISLAMABAD: Frequency Module (FM) radios, popularly known as FM radios, have spiced up the lives of millions of Pakistanis living both in rural and urban areas, Daily Times reports.
With a variety of music programmes, these radios have attracted a good number of listeners. Now people prefer FM music radios to enjoy fast track music while driving their vehicles and at their workplaces.
At the moment there are 28 FM channels operating in the three provinces of the country, out of which four are working in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, 12 in different cities of Punjab, nine in Sidh and three in the NWFP. There is still no radio registered in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. All these FM radios are run by the private operators registered under the Pakistan Electronic and Print media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) laws.
All these channels which started with FM-100 and followed by FM-101 are broadcasting 24 hours music programmes with live calls from the listeners and some sponsored programmes except a few owned by universities which are providing education through their programmes.
“I switch on FM radio while driving my car to and from office. It is really full of lively music radio,” said Muhammad Khalil who works in a private computer company.
Abbas Ali a worker with a construction company said that the channel provided an easy way to enjoy music. He said that he enjoyed non-stop music with lively comments of the hosts throughout the day.
Asked if he listened to news or any other programme on Radio Pakistan, he said “I tune to Radio Pakistan only occasionally when some important event takes place in or outside Pakistan,” he said.
Radio Pakistan was once known as the voice of the people of Pakistan. Soon after the independence, Radio Pakistan emerged as the main source of information and entertainment for the people because of its good quality programmes which played a vital role in educating the people. Besides entertainment, Radio Pakistan had also aired dramas and serials on social topics which went down into the memory lane of the first and second generation of Pakistanis making a strong foundation for the broadcasting sector in the country. The institution has also produced and introduced many legendry artists who started from radio and later on ruled the silver and mini screens.
But this institution seems succumbs to the FM radios popularity.
Some people believe that these FM radios should also broadcast social and community programmes instead of only airing music.
Muhammad Najeeb, a high official of one of the local FM radio when contacted, said that these private sector radios should also prepare community-based social programmes highlighting the problems of particular areas of their operation.
“But there is a problem that trained manpower for these programmes is not available in the market and that the radio owners are also not interested in training raw talent for such purpose,” he said.
He said that these radio stations were doing well but they should come forward with novel ideas other than music.
He expressed his reservations about the newly introduced the PEMRA Bill by the National Assembly, stating that sweeping powers given to the police under the bill would cause problems for the radio operators. He said that these channels were doing business just like the newspaper industry in the country. Here is the list of FM radios operating in the country:
Islamabad: Power FM-99, The Communicators; City FM 89, Kohinoor Airwaves Private Limited; FM-91, SAALAR Engineering and Trading; and Campus Radio FM 90.6, International Islamic University.
Punjab: Awaz FM-105, Future Tech Engineering and System (Pvt) Ltd, Gujrat; Buraq FM-104, Interactive Communication (Pvt) Ltd, Sialkot; City FM 89, Kohinoor Airwaves, Pvt. Ltd., Lahore; City FM 89, Kohinoor Airwaves (Pvt) Ltd Faisalabad; Mast 103, Trade Serve International, (Test) Lahore; Mast 103, Trade Serve International, (Test) Faisalabad; Mast 103, Trade Serve International, (Test) Multan; FM-91, SAALAR Engineering and Trading, Lahore (Test); Campus Radio FM 104.6, Punjab University, Lahore; FM-97, Sunrise Pakistan, Biz Broadcasting Pvt Ltd, Hassanabdal; FM-88 Apna FM, Thal International Airwaves Pvt Ltd, Layyah; and FM 98-Jeevay Pakistan.
Sindh: Apna FM-107, Syndicate Entertainment (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi; City FM-89, Kohinoor Airwaves Pvt Ltd, Karachi; Radioactive-96, Vactracom Broadcasting, Karachi; Mast 103, Trade Serve International, Karachi; Sachal FM-105, Sachal Satellite Com, (test) Hyderabad; FM 92 Aap Ka Humsafar, SOUNDWAVE Pvt Ltd, Noriabad; FM 92 Aap Ka Humsafar, SOUNDWAVE Pvt Ltd, Khairpur; FM-91, SAALAR Engineering and Trading, Karachi; and FM-106.2, M/S Shamal Media Services, Sukkur;
NWFP: Buraq FM-104, Interactive Communication, Peshawar; Lakki FM-88, Saif International Combine, Sarai-e-Naurang, Lakki Marwat; and Campus Radio FM-107, Peshawar University, Peshawar.