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No Pakistani shows on Zindagi, says Subhash Chandra

MUMBAI: General entertainment channel (GEC) Zindagi, which has grown on the back of Pakistani shows, has decided to phase out all Pakistani TV shows in the wake of the Uri attack.

Dr. Subhash Chandra-Chairman, ZEE & Essel Group“It’s an unfortunate decision we had to take to stop all programming from Pakistan. We at Zee have tried for the past 24 years to bridge the gap. However, the one-way street is not working. We took a decision in our hearts right after the Uri attack. Zindagi has been the reason for the rise of a number of stars from Pakistan but when we requested them to at least condemn the attacks without naming their country, none of them came forward,” said ZEE and Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra.

Chandra also took to Twitter to make the announcement. He tweeted, “Unfortunate stance of Mia Sharif at UN. Zee is considering stopping Zindagi programmes from Pakistan. Artistes from there should leave.”

In the following tweets Chandra also put all speculations to rest by stating that Zindagi would not be shut down. The Pakistani shows, he said, would be replaced with Indian shows focusing on Indian Muslims.

“Will not shut down Zindagi channel but revamp programming without serials from Pakistan; we will have Indian subjects on Muslim community,” he tweeted.

Even before Chandra had tweeted about the phasing out of Pakistani content from Zindagi, the channel had unveiled its new primetime line-up on 19 September. The revamped programming line-up takes effect on 3 October. Zindagi’s primetime will be powered by local Indian and Turkish shows.

Zindagi-mainThe new shows include a light-hearted Turkish drama ‘Little Lord’, three Indian originals including Sphere Origins’ ‘TV Ke Uss Par’, ‘Khwaabon Ki Zameen Pe’ produced by Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares, and Gulshan Sachdeva’s Film & Shots’ ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’. ‘Teri Meri Jodi’, a co-production between Zindagi and Geo TV, which was part of the new line-up, has been disbanded. This will be Kher’s debut fiction show as a producer.

‘Ek Tamanna Lahaasil Si’ and ‘Main Hari Piya’ are the only Pakistani shows that are being aired on the channel in different time bands. Currently, the channel’s content comprises 70% international content and 30% local. It is also planning to bring hand-picked stories from Spain, Italy, Latin America and Korea.

Launched in 2014, Zindagi debuted with Pakistani shows like ‘Zindagi Gulzar Hai’, ‘Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam’, ‘Sasural Ki Galli’ and ‘Noor Bano’.

The move comes in the wake of an ultimatum given by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to all Pakistani film and TV artists to quit India or face consequences. There has been an upsurge of anger in the country following a terrorist attack on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu & Kashmir that led to the death of 19 soldiers. The attack is believed to have been orchestrated by terror groups based in Pakistan.

As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, Zindagi will launch an English dual feed to allow bi-lingual audiences to consume content in the language of their choice. Plans are also on to launch a high-definition (HD) version of the channel after obtaining a licence from the government.

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