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Indian films banned in cinemas across Pakistan

Indian films have been banned in cinemas across Pakistan as tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over recent scuffles in the disputed Kashmir region spilled into the world of Bollywood.

“It is deeply regrettable that a film trade body, the IMPPA, has passed a resolution to ban Pakistani stars and technicians from working in India,” a statement from Pakistan’s Film Exhibitors and Distributors group said late on Friday.

“(Following) the IMPPA decision… the majority stake holders of the (Pakistani) film industry have decided to suspend the screening of all Indian films until normalcy returns.” The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has also asked all channels in the country to “immediately” stop broadcast of illegal Indian content amid the ongoing tension between the two nations.

The media regulatory body also announced to launch a crackdown against illegal Indian channels in all major cities of the country from October 15.

The decision was taken at a meeting between Pemra chairman Absar Alam and Punjab chief minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif.

During which the Pemra chairman took the provincial minister into the confidence over the forthcoming drive.

Mr Alam told Mr Sharif that the crackdown is actually against illegal Indian Direct-To-Home (DTH), dishes and content existing in the black market of Pak cities.

The Pemra added that it is receiving complaints that several local private channels are showing Indian talk shows, reality programmes and dramas without permission.

“The complaints have shown serious concerns in the wake of current situation. Complaints have urged Permra to impose immediate ban on broadcast and distribution of illegal Indian channels and illegal Indian DTH.”

“This will sent a positive signal to the public about the satellite TV channels and distribution networks’ commitment with rule of law and the country — about which a huge number of talk shows preach daily,” it said.

According to PEMRA rules, local channels can only show 5 per cent foreign contents but it has been seen that several channels mostly rely on foreign contents, mostly Indian, Turkish, American and European.

The statement came after Indian Army announced that seven terror launch pads were targeted across the Line of Control (LoC) by the Special Forces during a “surgical strike”.

Last week, Raj Thackeray-led MNS issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes and actors, including Fawad Khan and Ali Zafar, to leave

India by September 25 or else they would be “pushed out”. Recently, concerts of Pakistani singers Shafqat Amanat Ali and Atif Aslam scheduled in Bengaluru and Gurgaon, respectively, were also cancelled.

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