After ban on screening Indian films, Pakistan goes after its adverts & Bollywood merchandise
Airing Indian advertisements or ads featuring Indian actors or characters on electronic media is now illegal in Pakistan, according to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (PEMRA), which announced the ban. The watchdog believes that Bollywood actors appearing on local TV “aggravates the miseries of Pakistanis who are perturbed over Indian atrocities on Kashmiri brethren.”
The sweeping ban, which also extends to include content produced by eleven multinational brands, will remain in place until “such advertisements are replaced by advertisements produced in Pakistan, containing Pakistani actors/characters/talent.”
Separately, the Pakistani government targeted Indian films sold on CDs, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan told local media. Police have targeted several disc shops in the capital Islamabad, but the practice will soon be expanded to other provinces, she revealed.
Earlier, Pakistan issued a nationwide ban on screening Bollywood films, pushing back against New Delhi’s decision to lift the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, under which the contested state had enjoyed a separate constitution, its own flag, and autonomous administration.
Indian filmmakers said the restriction is unlikely to make any impact on the industry. However, there were calls to respond in kind by blacklisting all Pakistani actors, musicians and diplomats.
Pakistan’s vendetta was not limited to films and other content.
As the diplomatic crisis gained pace, its Ministry of Information and Broadcasting launched a “Say No to India” campaign which effectively halted all kinds of joint ventures between the Indian and Pakistani entertainment industries.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi maintained that stripping Kashmir of its special status would help reverse “the separatism, corruption, terrorism and family rule” that was said to have taken root in the region. Pakistan, in turn, accused its arch-rival of silencing anti-India dissent and of cracking down on Muslims.
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