The Pakistan Supreme Court banned the broadcast of Indian content on Pakistan TV channels, stating that it damages the Pakistani culture. Pakistan’s media regulator directed all Pakistani local channels not to air any content showing “Extramarital relations, rape scenes, bed scenes, use of drugs and alcohol, intimate moments between couples” as it is against their culture.
In 2016, Indian content was banned by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on television and FM radio after the tension between two countries regarding the URI attack. In return, India also banned some Pakistani content as well as artists. This ban was then removed in July 2017 by the Lahore Court declaring it null and void. In 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan re-established the ban on the broadcast of Indian content.
PEMRA filed an appeal against the Supreme Court’s ban on the telecasting Indian content on television. The appeal was heard on Wednesday by a three-member top court bench, which was led by the chief justice, Saqib Nisar who said that Indian content damages their culture and therefore, should be banned.
Saleem Baig, chairman of Pemra said 65 per cent of the content shown on Filmazia channel was foreign and that the number, at times, goes as high as 80 per cent, to which the chief justice replied, “we will not allow Indian content to be aired on (Pakistani) channels”. The Pemra counsel told the court that “Filmazia was not a news channel, but was an entertainment channel and that it did not do any propaganda”, to which the chief justice’s remark came, “It is, however, damaging our culture”.
The final decision was not made in the hearing as Pakistan Broadcasters Association’s counsel Faisal Siddiqui was not there and his opinion was crucial for the decision as “We cannot pass judgment without hearing him” said the chief justice and the hearing was adjourned till the first week of February.