Pakistan reinstates ban on airing of Indian content

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a ban on the airing of Indian content on local television channels.

The top court set aside an earlier ruling by the Lahore High Court (LHC) and reinstated a 2016 policy of the federal government banning the transmission of Indian content on local television channels, Geo News reported.

A counsel of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) appeared in the apex court as a three-judge bench headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmad heard the case.

“On October 19, 2016, PEMRA imposed a complete ban on airing Indian content on local television channels,” the counsel for the regulatory authority said.

However, in 2017, the LHC lifted the ban as the federal government had no objections regarding the same, according to the official. Later, PEMRA challenged the High Court’s decision in the top court.

The authority’s counsel also claimed that “Indian content had zero viewership on local television channels”.

After hearing the PEMRA counsel’s arguments, the apex court set aside the LHC order and reinstated the federal government’s October 2016 policy as per which Indian content cannot be aired on local television channels

Late last month, the LHC was moved to put a complete ban on trade, exhibition and selling of Indian films in Pakistan to reciprocate a ban on Pakistani artists working in Bollywood amid tensions between the two neighbours.