The Pakistan Supreme Court on January 9, 2019, disallowed Indian content to be shown on Pakistani TV channels on the ground that it damages their culture.
Pakistan’s Chief Justice Saqib Nisar
was hearing an appeal filed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) when he remarked that the country’s Supreme Court would not allow Indian content to be shown on Pakistani TV channels as it “damages our culture”. PEMRA’s chairman Saleem Baig said that 65% of the content shown on Filmazia channel was foreign and that the figure at times went up to 80%.
At this, the Chief Justice remarked that “We will not allow Indian content to be aired on (Pakistani) channels.” On being told that “Filmazia was not a news channel but was an entertainment channel and that it did not do any propaganda,” the Chief Justice countered the PEMRA counsel, saying that “It is, however, damaging our culture.” The top court has adjourned the hearing in the case till the first week of February as the Pakistan Broadcasters Association’s counsel Faisal Siddiqui was not in attendance. Earlier in 2016, PEMRA had imposed a ban on airing Indian content on local television and FM channels which was lifted by Lahore High Court in 2017 saying that the federal government had no objection. However, in October 2018, the Supreme Court reinstated the ban.