ISLAMABAD: The government has launched a crackdown on sale of Indian movies and banned airing of advertisements for India-made products on television channels in the wake of tensions over the situation in India-held Kashmir.
“We have banned Indian advertisements and launched a crackdown on CD shops to confiscate Indian movies,” said Firdous Ashiq Awan, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information.
Talking to Dawn on Thursday, she said the interior ministry had already started a crackdown on Indian movies in the federal capital and it would be expanded to other parts of the country soon in collaboration with the provincial governments. “Today the interior ministry raided some compact disc shops in Islamabad and confiscated Indian movies.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has prohibited airing of advertisements for India-made products on television and radio networks.
In a letter circulated to all its television and radio licencees on Wednesday, the authority recalled that it had withdrawn permission for airing Indian channels and content on the Supreme Court’s directive in October last year.
“However, it has been observed that advertisements of various products of multi-nationals, which are either produced in India or carry Indian characters, are being aired on electronic media,” said the letter posted on Pemra’s Twitter account.
The letter recalled that the government had designated this year’s Independence Day as a “day of solidarity with Kashmiris” in the wake of recent tensions.
However, the airing at the same time of advertisements, produced in India, and carrying Indian celebrities, on Pakistani media was tantamount to “negating the state policy”, the authority said.
Showing Indian celebrities on Pakistani TV screens “aggravates miseries of Pakistanis who are perturbed over Indian atrocities on Kashmiri brethren”, Pemra observed.
According to Pemra, it had now decided to ban the broadcast of all advertisements featuring Indian products or personalities under Section 27(a) of the Pemra Ordinance 2002.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2019