Washington, D.C., October 13, 2009 - The Voice of America (VOA) is expanding its reach across Pakistan. A new arrangement with Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) now allows VOA to broadcast Pashto language programs on medium-wave (AM) radio and Urdu broadcasts on FM stations for the first time.
"We're delighted Pakistan's Cabinet has ratified our agreement with PBC," said VOA Director Danforth W. Austin. "This arrangement will allow millions of people in all parts of Pakistan to listen to the VOA's popular news and information programs."
VOA's Deewa Radio, a Pashto language service for people in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, is now available on medium wave (AM) at 540 kHz from a transmitter in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.
From 1800 to 2200 daily, Deewa Radio's AM signal will broadcast news and current affairs programming plus call-in shows on politics, literature and poetry. Deewa, which began in 2006, continues to broadcast nine hours of radio programming daily on shortwave, FM (transmitters located in Afghanistan) and Internet (www.VOANews.com/Deewa/).
For the first time, VOA’s Urdu language program Radio Aap Ki Dunyaa (Your World) (www.VOANews.com/Urdu) will be heard on the FM band. A 30-minute morning program at 0900 and a 30-minute evening program at 1800 will air on 11 FM stations across Pakistan, including Islamabad and Lahore.
VOA's audience is strong in Pakistan, with almost 12 percent of the population listening to or watching Urdu programs. Beyond the Headlines is a 30-minute television program that airs on Geo News, Pakistan's leading cable and satellite TV news channel.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages. VOA is the leading U.S. international broadcaster.
For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.