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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Pakistan bans broadcast of all Indian television channels

Two days after India's movie industry body banned Pakistani artists and technicians from working in India, Islamabad on Saturday banned the broadcast of all Indian television channels in Pakistan, ANI reported.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said strict action would be taken if TV channels and distribution networks failed to implement the ban after October 15. It said it has been receiving complaints that several local private channels were showing Indian talk shows, reality programmes and dramas without permission.

"The complaints have shown serious concerns on this issue (illegal Indian contents) in the wake of current situation between India and Pakistan," PEMRA said, according to PTI. 

To protest the September 19 terror attacks in Uri, the the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA). on Thursday passed a resolution banning Pakistani actors and technicians from working in India until relations between the two countries returned to normal.

In retaliation, Pakistani cinemas have already stopped screening Indian films in "solidarity" with the country's armed forces. Nadeem Mandviwalla, whose Mandviwalla Entertainment runs eight cinemas in Karachi and in the capital, Islamabad, told Reuters on Friday that the ban in Pakistan was in response to the IMPPA ban.
"We have stopped screening Indian movies at our cinemas from Friday till the situation improves and normalcy returns," said Mandviwalla.

Since the terror attacks on Uri+ - that killed 19 soldiers - a few political parties and some other organizations warned Pakistani artists in India against staying on. Last week, the Maratha chauvinist Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) asked actors and artistes from Pakistan, including Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, to leave India. It issued a 48-hour deadline, after which it said the party would "push them out".

Pakistani actor Shaan Shahid lashed out at his colleguaes for not speaking up for the Pakistan Army, The News International reported.

In a Facebook post from his official page, Shaan labelled actors who worked in the Indian film industry as "one film wonder(s)" who did not speak in favour of Pakistani troops because they "want to hide under the money and little fame they made from India.

Another actor, Hamza Ali Abbasi also weighed in. "The time has come when Pakistani artists must boycott Bollywood and Pakistani people must stop watching Indian content," Abbasi said in a Facebook post, as reported by Dawn newspaper.

However, Abbasi did say there should not be a ban on Indian artists performing in Pakistan.
"Our actors should stop going to Bollywood. If anyone comes from there we should welcome them as we are more mature and civilised people than them. If a dog bites you, you don't bite the dog back," he said. Pakistani movie star Agha Ali, agreed with Abbasi about boycotting Bollywood.

"I think it should've been done a long time ago. We have to be on the same page in every aspect now before we allow it all again. I'm super happy," Ali told Dawn.

In the meanwhile, as of Saturday afternoon, a Karachi newspaper's poll - on whether India's artists should be banned from performing in Pakistan - is almost split down the middle. Some 3,185 votes favour boycotting Indian artists performing in Pakistan while 3,157 votes are against such a move, in a poll being conducted by Dawn.

However, similar to many like-minded artists and actors in India, some other Pakistanis believe art and politics shouldn't mix.

"Art is a form free from race, creed, ethnicity and all biases and prejudices. It's not tied by any division. We must understand this when we talk about work collaboration of artists," Sajal Aly, a Pakistani actress said.
"Let's not curb the love, let's not curb the art, let's not stop the exchange of love. Please let our governments decide what should be the political scenario but let's not make artists suffer. Don't make them a target," said Pakistani actor and model Afzar Rahman.

On this side of the LoC, Salman and others have spoken against banning Pakistani artists.

"Are artistes terrorists? They come with a visa. Who gives them the visa or work permit? Our government," Salman said on Friday. The actor also said that India's retaliation on Thursday with surgical strikes across the LoC in Pakistan was valid.

"If they were terrorists, it was proper action taken," he said.

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