Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has banned the repeat telecast of two Pakistani television dramas — ARY Digital’s Ishqiya and Hum TV’s Pyar Ke Sadqay — citing that the content of the dramas is against ‘the social and religious values’.
According to a notification issued by the authority on Friday, the action was taken under Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance. The notification added that the two drama serials could also not be aired on ARY Zindagi and HUM Sitaray or any other sub channels.
Section 27, prohibition of broadcast media or distribution service operation, states that broadcasting or re-broadcasting or distributing of any programme is prohibited if PEMRA is of the opinion that the programme is pornographic, obscene, vulgar or is offensive to the commonly accepted standards of decency.
پیمرا کی اے آر وائی ڈیجیٹل اور ہم ٹی وی کے ڈرامہ سیریل "عشقیہ" اور "پیار کے صدقے" کی نشرِ مکرر پر پابندی pic.twitter.com/ZEarENCEU7
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) September 4, 2020
Both of these drama were loved by audiences. While Ishqiya starring Feroze Khan, Ramsha Khan, Hania Aamir and Gohar Rasheed received high ratings, Pyar Ke Sadqay starring Bilal Abbas Khan, Atiqa Odho, Yumna Zaidi, Omair Rana was loved by all and sundry.
It is baffling to see that these two have been banned after several people have filed a complaint against the dramas but the notification failed to address if anyone from the regulatory authority has watched and reviewed the complete dramas. The statement added that content in these drama serials is being widely criticized as well as the viewers are agitated by the central ideas of these TV productions where sacred relationships are portrayed in a negative light. This is another form of the same ban culture that we earlier witnessed in the case of Zindagi Tamasha which was banned before its release after complaints by individuals who have not seen the film.
Pyar Ke Sadqay tactfully addressed sexual harassment faced at home and brought to light that anybody can be a predator. This message is not a threat to the social and moral fabric of our society or values; this is a harsh truth that we have to face sooner or later. Ishqiya was a story of a girl and boy, previously in love, who destroyed many lives by keeping their former relationship a secret. We’ve seen or heard such stories in our surroundings and there is no point in burying our heads in sand.
The PEMRA notification also stated that it is also reviewing complaints filed against ARY Digital’s ongoing drama Jalan starring Emmad Irfani, Minal Khan and Areeba Habib. The channel has been directed to review the content of the drama.
The statement also stated that PEMRA has been getting complaints from viewers on a daily basis through the Pakistan Citizens Portal, social media accounts, and its call centres. “The channels were repeatedly informed about the concerns of viewers regarding the content. The channels were directed to produce the content according to Pakistan’s social, religious, social and moral values. As there was no improvement in the script of the dramas by the channels, a final instruction was given to the channels on August 18 to produce the content of the dramas in accordance with the values of Pakistan,” said the press release.
PEMRA has directed all TV channels, media houses and production houses to review the content of dramas. “Regardless of the cost and time invested in the drama, if the content of a play is contrary to national values and contrary to the expectations of the audience, the play will be banned without any warning,” the statement warned.