PESHAWAR, May 2: Leading advertisers in the provincial capital have smudged female faces on their billboards after the provincial government issued a warning that action will be taken against advertisements featuring women.

“We were left with no option but to paint all women faces so that the government or its supporters do not pull them down,” said managing director of a leading advertisement agency.

He told Dawn that last time his company faced losses of about Rs10 million when their boards were pulled down by MMA activists.

Women faces on billboards on the GT Road, University Road, Soekarno Square, Saddar Road and other important spots have been covered with grey paint.

NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani and Information Minister Asif Iqbal Daudzai had warned multinational companies last week to remove billboards with women’s faces. Mr Daudzai had said that they would persuade the companies to remove all such boards voluntarily, otherwise the government itself would do the job.

When asked if they would spare billboards after smudging female faces, the advertiser said in lighter vein: “We have covered their faces just like the MMA’s woman MPAs cover their faces before the assembly session.

“We face financial losses because multinational companies launch uniform publicity campaign across the country. We have to ask them not to send advertisements with female pictures,” he said. “Why should they prepare separate ads for the NWFP.”

MMA activists led by a Jamaat-i-Islami MPA had, in May 2003, pulled down and smashed all the billboards bearing pictures of women. FIRs were registered against them but none of them was brought to the book. This incident had also led to transfer of the then NWFP chief secretary and the provincial police officer by the federal government. Thereafter there had been no billboards with female faces in the provincial capital. However, about a year ago such billboards started re-emerging.

Last year, MPA Mian Nadir Shah had tabled a draft law in the assembly against use of female photographs in advertisements. That bill known as the NWFP Prohibition of Use of Women Photographs Bill 2005, has still been pending debates in the assembly.

Opinion

Losing heritage
26 Oct 2021

Losing heritage

It’s not a good idea to turn Mohatta into a college.
The long impasse
Updated 25 Oct 2021

The long impasse

Management of Pakistan-India tensions is likely to remain the main focus of sporadic backchannel efforts.

Editorial

26 Oct 2021

Perfect in every way

GLORIOUS. Gratifying. Liberating. Pakistan’s thumping victory over India in their opening fixture of the T20 World...
26 Oct 2021

Balochistan CM’s exit

ON Sunday, Jam Kamal Khan Alyani’s name was added to the long list of chief ministers of Balochistan who ...
Minister’s odd logic
26 Oct 2021

Minister’s odd logic

THE government’s contradictions and confusion appear to have no end when it comes to dealing with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.
25 Oct 2021

Party to a vile campaign

THE PTI government’s hostility towards the media and its intolerance for dissent is well known. The target of ...
Financial crisis
Updated 25 Oct 2021

Financial crisis

DESPITE having progressed to ‘very good step’ and being ‘close to concluding the agreement’ a few days back,...
25 Oct 2021

Morals and Pemra

TIME and again, Pemra has come under fire for issuing arbitrary instructions to TV channels on matters ranging from...