In May 1951, the Voice of America launched its Urdu broadcasting to Pakistan, a young democracy in South Asia. Since then, the Urdu service has provided the Pakistani audience with balanced and unbiased news through broadcasts that began on radio and, over time, expanded to TV and digital platforms.
On August 14, 2022, when the nation of Pakistan turns 75, the VOA Urdu service will broadcast a variety of special programming to mark the anniversary.
The offerings will include a number of documentaries, digital videos, TV news stories and features, as well as thought-provoking podcasts on Pakistan’s three quarters of a century of democracy, politics, culture, literature, art, sports and journalism.
In addition, VOA Urdu is exploring Pakistan’s political history with a documentary, "Pakistan: From Independence to Martial Law | 1947 - 1958." The 52-minute video covers the events and political upheavals of the newly born democracy during its first 11 years, which ultimately ended in the country's first military rule.
On its website, VOA Urdu has created a visual timeline of Pakistan’s history and, in the coming months, the service will gradually release a series of one-minute-long research-intensive videos featuring major historical events back to 1947.
VOA Urdu is also working on several other documentaries, including the history of Pakistan-U.S. relations, the conflict in Kashmir, and the influence of the sub-continent’s partition on literature and visual mediums in Pakistan and India. The service’s programming also addresses the popular myths surrounding the partition and the country’s colonial history, with opinions offered by historians in Pakistan and India.
Another mini-series, “Memories of Migration,” features interviews and first-hand accounts of the people who migrated, or whose parents migrated, from India to Pakistan, or the reverse, during the partition of the subcontinent. The series also features interviews with those who chose to stay and decided to live as a minority in the newly established states.
The special programming also highlights many unique elements and stories, often neglected by local media, including accounts of Pakistan's oldest brewery, the country's newest national monument, the rise and fall of the country's film industry, and its national airline.
VOA Urdu’s TV show, “View 360,” airs on Aaj News each weekday at 7:30 p.m. local time. Its audio news bulletins air on major FM radio stations throughout Pakistan. In addition, the program’s audiovisual and text content are available on web and social media platforms.
Today VOA’s Urdu service provides a wide variety of programs on multiple platforms, delivering news and information in Pakistan and the Urdu-speaking diaspora. VOA Urdu broadcasts on TV, as well as FM radio networks and its website, carries live streams of the service’s TV and radio programs, along with customized web and digital-only content.