The ban on Indian content is likely to continue as Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said that he won’t allow Indian content to be aired on Pakistani TV channels.
Leading a three-member Supreme Court bench to hear the appeal by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) against the High Court’s order to ban the broadcast of Indian content on local TV channels, CJP said:
“We would not allow TV channels (Pakistani) to play the Indian contents as it damages our culture.”
The news initiated a debate on both sides of the border on whether it is the right decision to promote local content in the country.
However, two of the most prominent personalities of Bollywood Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi also reacted to the entire debate.
Indian poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar said that both of the countries should telecast each other’s content as every avenue and path should be open for art.
This is all wrong, there shouldn’t be any such talks coming from here (India), neither from there (Pakistan), as well. There are so many good serials which come from there (Pakistan) and they should be able to telecast here but they don’t, and our good programmes should be able to telecast there, and why should not they telecast over there and which culture is getting damaged? Neither their’s, nor our culture could get damaged.
On the other hand, the Neerja actress Shabana Azmi also opposed the decision and said that it can only divide that people of both the countries.
She expressed her views and said:
It’s an unfortunate decision because I feel that art connects and not divides people. The people of Pakistan don’t want a ban on Indian content in their country, but it is their politicians who want it. In our country too, politicians want to ban their art and artists.
Referring to a particular entertainment channel, Chairman PEMRA Saleem Baig told the court that 65% of the contents shown on the channel are foreign and that the number at times goes as high as 80%.
— Arab News Pakistan (@arabnewspk) January 10, 2019
PEMRA counsel explained that since it’s not a news channel; it does not do any propaganda. But Chief Justice commented that “It is, however, damaging our culture”.
Advocate Zafar Iqbal Kalanauri informed the bench that foreign contents had been banned on court’s order before a high court issued a stay order against it. Due to the absence of Pakistan Broadcasters Association’s counsel, Faisal Siddiqui, CJP said that he cannot pass judgment without hearing him and adjourned the session until the first week of February.
The ban on Indian content on Pakistani TV channels has always been in the news. PEMRA imposed a complete ban on airing Indian content on TV and FM radio in 2016 after a similar decision was taken by the entertainment industry in India against Pakistani contents and artists.
However, the ban was lifted by the Lahore High Court in 2017, after the federal government had no objections on this case. The issue came up again in October 2018 after the Supreme Court sent a notice to Pakistani TV channels to refrain from airing Indian content.
A couple of days back, PEMRA also issued an advisory notice to TV channels to refrain from airing controversial and unethical content in dramas.
پیمرا کا تمام ٹی وی چینلز کو متنازعہ اور غیر اخلاقی موضوعات پر مبنی ڈراموں کی نشریات کو فوری روکنے کی ہدایت pic.twitter.com/J6QyzvKROq
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) January 8, 2019
PEMRA advised that TV channels to keep in mind the socio-cultural values of our society and should not feature too bold or sensitive content in dramas. It also issued a notice about misleading and controversial content in advertisements earlier this month.
پیمرا کا تمام سیٹلائٹ ٹی وی چینلز اور کیبل ٹی وی نیٹ ورکس کو غیر مہذب اور گمراہ کن اشتہارات سے متعلق ہدایت pic.twitter.com/itUo7BxhV0
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) January 3, 2019
Originally published on Brandsynario.
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