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12 Illegal Radio Stations Shut Down In NW Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Authorities in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province have shut down 12 illegal FM radio stations.

The closures followed a provincial cabinet decision that called for closing down all stations operating without a government license.

Qamar Ali, an official in Khyber Pahtunkwa's Home and Tribal Affairs Department, said the stations engaged in propaganda and were agitating for a rebellion against the government.

He said the stations were run by various mosques and religious seminaries in the rural Swabi district near the provincial capital, Peshawar.

Authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province see the illegal radio stations as a clear threat to government authority.

Illegal broadcasts were blamed for helping instigate a bloody Taliban rebellion in the Swat Valley in 2007.
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    RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal

    Radio Mashaal was launched in January 2010 in order to counter a growing number of Islamic extremist radio stations in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the border with Afghanistan.