Pakistan Supreme Court reimposes ban on TV broadcast of Indian content

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reimposed a ban on Indian films and television shows being broadcast on the country’s local TV channels terrestrial, satellite, according a report in the Dawn on Saturday.

The apex court was hearing a case filed by the United Producers Association pertaining to the broadcast of foreign content on Pakistani television channels. With this, the apex court overturned the 2017 order by the Lahore High Court.

During the hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar ordered a “shut down” and made it clear that authorities should “only air appropriate content”. “They are trying to (obstruct the construction) of our dam and we cannot even ban their channels? India is shrinking the flow of water into Pakistan. Why shouldn’t we close their channels?”” Nisar reportedly said.

In 2016, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had imposed a ban on airing Indian content on local television and FM radio channels. However, the Lahore High Court lifted ban in 2017, declaring it null and void as the Pakistan government had no objections regarding the same noting that “the world has become a global village”, lifted the PEMRA-imposed ban, declaring it null and void as the federal government had no objections, the report added.

Khalid Arain, the chairman of Pakistan Cable Operators Association, confirmed the verdict, but said his group opposed the ruling. “Ban on the all the Indian content is not the solution — rather we should try to better the quality of Pakistani TV shows,” he told the AFP news agency.

Pakistan had imposed bans on Indian films and TV content since the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The ban has been periodically lifted, but all Indian radio and TV content was barred again after India cracked down on protests in the disputed region of Kashmir in 2016.

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