A Pakistan court today lifted a ban on the airing of Indian television serials in the country. The court reportedly said that the world is a ‘global village’ and that ‘unreasonable restrictions’ cannot be imposed in such a scenario. Lahore High Court chief justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that Indian content with “objectionable” or “anti-Pakistan” content could be censored but there was no need for a complete ban.
According to a Times of India report, the ban had been put in place by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). The Lahore HC today declared the ban null and void saying that when the federal government has no objections to airing such content, it doesn’t see a reason for such a ban.
In October 2016, PEMRA issued a notification imposing a blanket ban on all Indian content, after relations between Pakistan and India soured following the Uri terror attack last year, where 19 soldiers were killed in an attack by militants in September 2016.
The petition that challenged the PEMRA ban stated that imposing a ban is beyond the powers of the regulatory body and the Pakistani constitution. It also claimed that the government was indulging in “selective patriotism”, because even though Indian movies were allowed to be screened all over the country, they could not be aired on television.
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A ban on Indian films was lifted in February this year, however, permission to air television dramas was still not granted.
PEMRA on the other hand had informed the court that the ban had been imposed because India had imposed similar restrictions on all Pakistani content.