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Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province Launches First TV Network Amid Security Threats

Khan Mohammed Sayal, the General Manager of the TV told journalists that the Paiwastoon will begin broadcasting from 7 am to 11 pm everyday

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Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani
Omid Sobhani is a senior journalist at Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Transcontinental Times.

AFGHANISTAN. Herat: Paiwastoon is the first private TV channel to be opened in Tarinkut city of Uruzgan province, an impoverished part of southern Afghanistan. In the opening ceremony, the officials said that they are committed to working for the ‘Freedom of Speech’ in journalism.

Khan Mohammed Sayal, the General Manager of the TV told journalists that the Paiwastoon will begin broadcasting from 7 am to 11 pm every day. However, due to the power blackout and high price of oil-machine for power generators, they may or may not be able to continue it regularly during the day. 

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“Our duty is to echo the people’s voice through television,” said Najibullah Latif, the head of the journalists’ committee in Uruzgan. With insecurity in Uruzgan, currently, there are only six radio stations in the province.

Recently, around 11 people, including two security force members, were wounded in an explosion in the Uruzgan province. According to the reports, in southern Uruzgan province, a suicide car bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives early Thursday near a military base.

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Security threats

Ahmad Quraishi, the executive director of Afghanistan Journalists’ Center said, “Despite the security threats to journalists and their economic problems, the launch of this TV network is a big step towards the right of freedom of expression and the free flow of information in Uruzgan province.”

“Programs that bring happiness to the people should be aired,” a resident of Uruzgan said. “We have forgotten our traditions, they should be revived for us,” he added.

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Nearly 10 media workers and civil society activists have been killed in targeted attacks over the last three months in Afghanistan. According to data by the Transcontinental Times, six of them were journalists. 

Journalists leaving Afghanistan 

“Under the current circumstances in Afghanistan, it is hard to work in media; therefore, I distanced myself from visual media,” said Robina Royesh, a reporter at Rah-e-Mandegar newspaper. 

Three popular media workers have left Afghanistan last month due to security threats. Nusrat Parsa, a TV journalist, Mukhtar Lashkari, 1 TV presenter, and Farahnaz Forotan, female Afghan anchor for political programs, are of the recent media staff who have left Afghanistan. 

Mokhtar posted a video of himself in the Kabul airport and claimed that he had left Afghanistan for the sake of his life. ”Those who think we are leaving for the fear, they are wrong. But protecting one’s life is important, ” he said. 

“For people like us who don’t have bodyguards or armored vehicles, and our enemy is also unknown, it is not logical to put our feet on mine in the dark.”

Read Also: Ten Radio Stations Shut Down In Afghanistan

According to figures by the media commission, 65 new media outlets have gone silent since last March.


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