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Pakistan reimposes ban on Indian content on TV channels


AFP |

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Saturday ordered a ban on all Indian content on TV channels, setting aside an earlier verdict by a lower court, officials said.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar issued the order in Karachi while hearing a case filed by producers’ associations relating to the broadcasting of foreign content on Pakistan television channels.

Khalid Arain, chairman of Pakistan Cable Operators Association confirmed the verdict, but hit out against the order.

Pakistan newspaper Dawn reported the judge referenced clashes with India over the construction of the planned Diamer-Basha dam in the country’s north, located in territory disputed by Delhi, as justification.

An official of Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said Nisar ordered to “stop airing all Indian content on TV channels”.

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The ruling covers terrestrial, satellite and cable channels.

Khalid Arain, chairman of Pakistan Cable Operators Association confirmed the verdict, but hit out against the order.

“Ban on the all the Indian content is not the solution, rather we should try to better the quality of Pakistani TV shows,” Arain told AFP.

An official of PEMRA said Nisar ordered to “stop airing all Indian content on TV channels”.

In 2017, the Lahore High court had lifted a ban on Indian TV shows which had been imposed by authorities in October 2016 amid heightened tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region.

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In a series of tit-for-tat moves in the entertainment industry, Pakistan that year suspended screening of all Indian movies until tensions calmed, while Hindu nationalists in India have threatened violence at cinemas showing films with Pakistani actors.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full and the countries have fought two wars over the region.

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