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Indian minister says ban on Indian TV content will not end 'people to people' contact

Updated January 10, 2019

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Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh says Pakistanis will continue to watch Indian content. — AFP/File
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh says Pakistanis will continue to watch Indian content. — AFP/File

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said that a ban on Indian content in Pakistan will not keep the audience from watching the neighbouring country's shows, ANI reported on Thursday.

The comment came a day after Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar made it clear, during the hearing of a case, that the Supreme Court will not allow Indian content to be shown on Pakistani TV channels as it "damages our culture".

"People to people contact won't end with one man's statement," Singh told the Indian media.

In 2016, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) had imposed a complete ban on airing Indian content on local television and FM radio channels.

The decision was largely seen as a tit-for-tat move after similar actions were taken by some channels and the entertainment industry in India against Pakistani content and artists.

In 2017, the Lahore High Court had lifted the Pemra-imposed ban, declaring it null and void as the federal government had no objections regarding the same.

The following year, the Supreme Court — while hearing a case filed by the United Producers Association pertaining to the broadcast of foreign content on Pakistani television channels — had reinstated the ban on the transmission of Indian content on local television channels, setting aside the LHC orders.

"They are trying to [obstruct the construction] of our dam and we cannot even ban their channels?" the top judge had fumed as he ordered the broadcast of Indian shows to be "shut down" before adding that the authorities should "only air appropriate content".