The Islamabad Motorway Police, on Saturday, put forward the suggestion of an immediate ban on displaying Indian content across all public services vehicles (PSVs) operating in the country. This suggestion has come in the wake of the escalated tensions between Pakistan and India over the forceful annexation of occupied Kashmir by the Modi administration.
A notification issued by the Office of Motorway Zone revealed that a passenger had approached the authorities to file a complaint against the Indian content displayed in public service vehicles.
Ban on Indian Content in PSVs
The notification issued by the Motorway Zone underscored that displaying Indian movies, drama serials or other content is “objectionable”.
Explaining the nature of the complaint, the notification stated that the complainant said that Indian content ought to be banned for “being immoral, and often containing objectionable/hateful contents.” It added that the complaint appeared “genuine” and the authorities have received similar complaints from other passengers, particularly families travelling on public service vehicles.
Pakistan had become a hot territory especially for big films with a big star cast. Indian films did depend upon Pakistan for a fairly good amount of overseas business.
The notification read, “It is strongly suggested that all PSV companies must strictly be directed to put an immediate ban on such objectionable content specially the Indian movies amid Pakistan-India current political situation as well as cultural differences.”
The notification further suggested the imposition of restrictions on displaying content that promotes hatred on the basis of stirring up religious differences. It stated, “In this respect, PEMRA may also be approached for appropriate action in the matter on their part.”
Ban on Indian Films
Earlier in August, Pakistan had imposed a ban on screening Indian films in cinemas across the country, in a move to express Islamabad’s strong opposition to New Delhi’s unilateral move of stripping away the special constitutional privileges of the disputed Himalayan territory.
Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, adviser to Pakistan Minister Imran Khan on information and Broadcasting had said that no Pakistani cinema will be allowed to screen Indian films, and all kinds of Indian content, including dramas and films, will be completed banned across the country.
After the PTI-led government announced its decision to completely ban the screening of Indian films across cinemas nationwide, members of the Bollywood fraternity have attempted to make light of the situation, stating the decision as Pakistan’s loss, and meaningless for the Indian film industry.
However, Indian trade analyst, Komal Nahta, observed that given the fact that Pakistan is a big market for Bollywood’s overseas business, this ban will definitely impact the numbers on the box-office.
Indian films and plays are still seen in the Bashir Sons deawoo bus service from Lahore to Pirmahal Raja Faisalabad. Did they not apply to any law of PEMRA, but motorway police can follow government orders. It took us a long time to become a nation. pic.twitter.com/kmOL09shgs
— Mariya Butt (@mariya_butt1) August 13, 2019
Speaking to IANS, Nahta said, “Pakistan had become a hot territory especially for big films with a big star cast. Indian films did depend upon Pakistan for a fairly good amount of overseas business. Especially, (for stars like) Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, their films used to do very well there.”