Pakistan bans all cultural exchanges with India


International desk, August 09: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Thursday launched a national slogan ‘Say No to India’ and decided to ban all cultural exchanges with India including all kinds of joint ventures in the entertainment industry of the two countries.“All kinds of Indian content have been stopped and Pemra [Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority] has been directed to step up its vigilance in this regard along with actions against the sale of Indian DTH instruments,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, DAWN reports.

Talking to media persons at a reception hosted by her, she said that the recent Indian action to annex Kashmir had proved that the Quaid-i-Azam was right.

“It is a clash of two ideologies. On the one hand, we have enlightened moderate and progressive ideology while on the other the extremist government in India has shown their hard-line, terrorist, fanatic and anti-Muslim ideology.”

She said that the deception of cultural exchange was polluting the minds of Pakistani youth and it was essential to contain Indian content that indirectly portrayed their false propaganda.

The special assistant also told the media that the National Security Council had decided to establish a group and thus Pakistan would fight the “Hindutva” ideology from all fronts.

The group will be the cluster of all relevant ministries to fight against the Indian designs at required forums.

“The external communications will be dealt with by the ministry of information, Foreign Office and the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) as per nature of information,” Dr Awan said.

At the same time, she requested the media to be extra cautious and responsible. “I am responsible to answer your queries but I request you not to air any negative ticker based on sources as it could damage the national narrative over this sensitive issue.”

She said in the current situation, the clash between Indian and Pakistani cultural and social values were imminent and it was the media’s responsibility to come to the forefront to defeat Indian cultural invasion.

Indian films

The government has also banned the screening of Indian films in the country’s cinemas, report agencies.

“No Indian film will be screened in any Pakistani cinema. Drama, films and Indian content of this kind will be completely banned in Pakistan,” tweeted Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Senior film producer and director Syed Noor welcomed the decision and said that India’s recent steps were not less than a war and Pakistan’s decision to sever all kinds of relationship with India was right.

Talking to APP, he said that the showbiz industry stood behind the people of held Kashmir.

This is not the first time that a ban on Indian content has been imposed.

Earlier in February, in the wake of the Indian Air Force’s violation of Pakistan’s air space, the Pakistan Film Exhibitors Association had boycotted Indian films and announced that no Indian movie would be released in Pakistan.

Pemra was also instructed by the government to act against advertisements that were made in India.