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Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia revive plan for an Islamic TV channel to win information war

Once again Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attempts an image-building exercise (Photo: IANS)

Pakistan has revived its plan of starting a joint television channel with Turkey and Malaysia to fight Islamophobia and make the world aware of Islam.

Pakistani Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain told media persons in Islamabad that a joint television channel would be set up to promote media links between Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia. The three countries will initially create a joint digital platform which would be later upgraded as a joint television channel, reports The Express Tribune.

The three countries announced the decision of a joint media network at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting held in Islamabad to discuss the Afghan crisis and provide humanitarian aid to the country.

This is the second time that the three Islamic nations have announced the formation of an international television channel to focus on Islamic issues.

Lately, Pakistan and Turkey have seen numerous exchanges of television shows with strong Islamic values and glorification of Muslim history.

Turkey already has the experience of running the TRT media network through which it manages the war of perception.

However, experts say that the idea has remained lukewarm among the rest of the Islamic world.

"Pakistan has again called for opening up a media network with Turkey and Malaysia on the sidelines of OIC summit. If launched, the channel will be dedicated towards Islam but other than three nations, no other Islamic country has rallied or shown support for this initiative," Pakistan analyst Mark Kinra told India Narrative.

Kinra adds that the funding for this channel remains a big question as Pakistan and Turkey both face a severe financial crisis.

"Pakistan's former top revenue official Shabbar Zaidi recently called the country "bankrupt" while Turkey is also under serious financial strain with the Turkish Lira losing 55 per cent of its value this year. In my opinion, it will be difficult for Malaysia alone to take on this ambitious project", says Kinra with skepticism about the proposed plan.

Earlier, in September 2019 Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced in New York that the three nations will launch an Islamic TV channel in English. At that time, Khan said that he had met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad to jointly start this channel to confront challenges posed by Islamophobia and misconceptions about Islam.

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