15 Dec 2017
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Pakistan lifts ban on airing of Indian TV shows

MUMBAI: The Lahore High Court has lifted a ban imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on the airing of Indian TV shows in the country.

On Tuesday, the court said that the federal government had no objections to Indian TV programmes being aired. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said Indian content with objectionable or anti-Pakistan content could be censored but there was no need for a complete ban. Justice Shah said, “The world has become a global village.”

Pemra had issued a notification imposing a blanket ban on all Indian content on 19 October 2016, as the relations between Pakistan and India soured post the Uri attack last year.

The petition challenging the Pemra ban contended that imposing a ban was beyond the powers of the regulatory body and the Pakistani constitution.

According to nation.com.pk, the petitioner also claimed that the government was involved in “selective patriotism” because even though Indian movies were allowed to be screened all over the country, they could not be shown on television.

Although Pemra’s ban on the airing of Indian films was lifted in February this year, permission to air teleplays or television dramas was not granted. Petitioner’s counsel Asma Jehangir argued in court on Tuesday that a ban on Indian teleplays appeared strange when Indian films were being openly aired.

Justice Shah said that the court should be informed if the Indian government had issued a notification to ban Pakistani content and maintained that Pemra must review its policies.