Foreign content should not be aired during prime time: NA body


The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Thursday suggested the government to ban airing foreign content in any language during prime time and take stern action against the violators.
The committee meeting, held with Belum Hasnain in the chair, was attended by Information Secretary Rasheed Ahmed, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Chairman Abdul Jabbar, TV actors Qavi Khan, Laila Zuberi, Asif Raza Mir, Maria Wasti and Sameena Ahmed.
After a detailed discussion on the new trend of airing foreign dramas dubbed in Urdu and its negative effects on the local culture, the committee recommended that if the PEMRA rules allow airing of the foreign content then it should only be subtitled in Urdu or English.
The committee suggested that PEMRA should strictly monitor TV channels and cable operators and take prompt action over any violations.
It said the permitted 10 percent of foreign content should be proportionate with the fresh content.
The NA body called for reviewing the rules, adversely affecting the local drama industry in view of the onslaught of foreign dramas and also sought channel-wise list of rules and regulations along with the actions taken against them.
Moreover, it asked PEMRA to ensure observance of code of conduct by all channels and licensees and keep a close eye on the foreign content being aired by local channels.The committee suggested the government ban all advertisements featuring foreign models.
The information secretary informed the committee that parliament alone could amend PEMRA laws.
To a question, he said the PEMRA chairman would be appointed soon as the information minister had already conducted interviews of around seven candidates. Pakistan Television (PTV) Managing Director Yusuf Baig Mirza apprised the committee that the Pakistan Television’s dramas were still popular in the country and abroad.
Legendary actor Qavi Khan said it was unfortunate that no steps had been taken to protect film and drama industry.
Khan recalled that he had produced two films on national solidarity but these had not yet been aired owing to vested interests. Asif Raza Mir said steps should be taken to protect the local industry. He also said foreign dramas should not be allowed in the country as those were not only harming the culture but also damaging the local industry.
Maria Wasti said, “We are producing dramas keeping in view our social problems that was why our dramas are popular among the masses.”
Laila Zubairi said telecasting foreign dramas should not be allowed as their actors were not paying any taxes to our national exchequer.


  1. National Assembly should soon ammend the rules of Pemra to support the local industry against invasion of indian dramas and advertisements. Our medai giants, such as GEO, Express, ARY are doing so boldly. Punitive measures should be taken against them. Hamid Mir, Kamran Khan and others never speak against the invasion of indian dramas and advertisements. Perhaps they are paid handsome for this invasion. Shame, shame.

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