On Tuesday, the Lahore High Court lifted the ban on airing Indian TV shows, imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
According to nation.com.pk, while PEMRA’s ban on airing Indian films was lifted in February this year, permission to air TV series was not granted.
PEMRA had, on October 1, 2016, decided to ban all ‘illegal’ Indian channels from October 15. It had warned that strict action would be taken if TV channels and distribution networks failed to follow the directions.
The decision came after the The Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMMPA) took a call to ban all Pakistani artistes in Indian cinema, following the Uri attack on September 18, which left 18 soldiers dead. Zee Network also stopped airing Pakistani serials on its hugely popular Zindagi channel, which aired shows such as Zindagi Gulzar Hai that brought Fawad Khan to our drawing rooms.
An IANS report in Huffington Post reports that Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah felt that Indian content was not anti-Pakistan, and, hence, there was no need for a ban. And, if there was something objectionable, it could be censored, but not banned.
Leo Communications had filed a petition in the Court claiming that it was beyond the authority of both PEMRA and the Constitution to impose such a ban. The petition also claimed that the Pakistani Government was involved in “selective patriotism”, as Indian movies were allowed to be screened in theatres, but not shown on television.