Pakistan court lifts ban on Indian TV shows, actors welcome the decision
The Lahore High Court on Tuesday struck down the ban on Indian TV shows in Pakistan, and Indian artists are vocal about their appreciation of the court ruling.
The ban had been imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) in the context of bilateral tensions last year. However, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said that while Indian TV content could be censored if it had objectionable or anti-Pakistan content, a complete ban was unnecessary, according to www.nation.com.pk. He observed, “The world has become a global village.”
Actor Arjun Bijlani, whose show Naagin was a big hit in Pakistan, says, “It’s great that this decision is taken. I get a lot of fan messages from Pakistan and I know that our shows do well there. I’m glad that our content can reach out there easily now.”
Actor Karan Patel is “more than happy that this ban has been lifted”. He says, “There has always been a lot of love and warmth from fans in Pakistan. [My show] Ye Hai Mohabbatein is about loving people and spreading the love around you. So, if we can spread love in Pakistan through our show, there’s nothing like it.”
Another banned show, Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai, will now be back on the air in Pakistan. Cast member Saumya Tandon says, “Pakistan lifting the ban… is good news. When there’s tension between countries, [it’s] the people who suffer. There has been tension between the countries with cross-border raids since last September, with civilians and jawans dying on both sides. A positive step towards peace will bring nothing but happiness.”
Actor Amit Behl, chairperson (outreach committee) of the Cine & TV Artists Association (Cintaa), says that reach, rather than revenues, is the main benefit here. “[The ruling] doesn’t affect [us] much in terms of the revenue, unless Indian broadcasters have a specific tie-up with Pakistani channels,” he says. “However, in terms of reach, it’s a big deal — even Pakistani people who live outside Pakistan watch a lot of our shows.”