Pakistan SC bans Indian content on local TV channels, says it's 'damaging our culture'

The court was listening to an appeal filed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

Pakistan SC bans Indian content on local TV channels, says it's 'damaging our culture'
File photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Supreme Court refused to air Indian content on Pakistani TV channels, stating that it "damages our culture".

A three-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, on Wednesday made it clear that the Supreme Court will not allow Indian content to be shown on Pakistani channels. "We will not allow Indian content to be aired on [Pakistani] channels", reported the country's leading daily Dawn.

The court was listening to an appeal filed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) against high courts' decision to ban the broadcast of Indian content on TV channels in Pakistan.

In 2016, the PEMRA had imposed a complete ban on airing and transmission Indian content on local television and FM radio channels. A year later, the Lahore High Court lifted the ban. However, in October 2018, the Pakistan SC reinstated it.

In the latest plea, PEMRA Chairman Saleem Baig told the court that 65 per cent of the content shown on Filmazia channel is foreign and that the number at times goes as high as 80 per cent.

Pemra counsel explained to the chief justice that "Filmazia is not a news channel but is an entertainment channel; it does not do any propaganda."

"It is, however, damaging our culture," the top judge countered.

Pakistani Channel Filmazia Entertainment broadcasts local and international shows including content from Turkish, Indian, Russian, Korean.

Indian soaps and movies are quite popular in Pakistan.