People to people contact to continue despite ban on TV content: Indian minister


Indian Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, while reacting to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar’s assertion of banning Indian television content in Pakistan, said that people to people contact between both countries would not end with one man’s statement.

Speaking to the Indian media, he said that the ban would not stop the Pakistani audience from watching television shows produced in India.

On Wednesday, CJP Nisar had made it clear during the hearing of the case that the apex court would not allow the broadcasting of Indian content on Pakistani television channels because “it damages our culture”.

“They are trying to obstruct the construction of our dam and we cannot even ban their channels?” the top judge had fumed as he ordered the broadcast of Indian shows to be “shut down” before adding that the authorities should “only air appropriate content”.

In 2016, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had imposed a complete ban on airing Indian content on local television and FM radio channels. The decision was largely seen as a tit-for-tat move after similar actions were taken by some channels and the entertainment industry in India against Pakistani content and artists.

In 2017, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had lifted the PEMRA-imposed ban, declaring it null and void as the federal government had no objections regarding the same.

The following year, the Supreme Court (SC), while hearing a case filed by the United Producers Association pertaining to the broadcast of foreign content on Pakistani television channels, had reinstated the ban on the transmission of Indian content on local television channels, setting aside the high court orders.