Radio Azadi back on medium airwaves, RFE and USAGM reports say.
Also known as Radio Free Afghanistan, Radio Azadi, just celebrated its 21st birthday, is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Dari and Pashto-language service.
This section of the USAGM conducts its programs from the RFE premises in Prague, following the Taliban takeover RFE/RL had closed its Kabul office in August 2021.
It was in 2002 that Afghanistan and the United States signed an agreement for the use of a 400 kW 1296 kHz average wave transmitter. The United States committed to restoring Pul-e Charkhi’s Afghanistan Radio TV facility near Kabul, shut down following a bombing by the U.S.
The agreement was amended in 2006. Afghanistan is giving the U.S. the right to build, install and operate a medium-wave radio transmission facility in the vicinity of Tani-Khost and other FM broadcasters.
The 200 kW on 621 kHz medium wave installation in Khost began operational distribution in March 2010 in the Pashtun-language areas of eastern Afghanistan, along the Pakistan border. The purpose of this second broadcaster was mainly to serve Pakistan.
As the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan, negotiations with the Taliban allowed broadcasters to be able to continue broadcasting.
On 1st December 2022, the Taliban-led government of Afghanistan removed all Radio Azadi, FM and AM broadcasts. Abdul Haq Hammad, a head of the Taliban-led government’s Information Ministry, had justified the arrest for “disrespect of journalistic principles and unilateral broadcasting” by the US-funded independent media.
An agreement has been reached with the Taliban, it plans to make Pul-e Charkhi broadcaster available for Radio Azadi. On the other hand, it removes the permission to broadcast on the FM network and excludes VOA broadcasts.
Starting January 18, 2023, the station will once again use the Pol-e Charki medium wave transmitter at 1296 kHz from 6 pm to 6 pm local time.
In addition to this nightly broadcast, the USAGM has upped the volume of its short-wave broadcasts and ensures increased presence on social media and app.
The USAGM was foreseen: The initial agreement allowed the U.S. to install a short-wave emitting center in Kabul. She preferred to use her own infrastructure at Lampertheim Germany, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, reputed for its electricity tariff!.
Radio Magazine FB group (2023-01-31)