Pakistan censors Indian content to control Kashmir 'narrative'

New Delhi: Pakistan's TV censor body PEMRA has ordered a complete ban on airing any kind of Indian content besides directing news channels there not to invite Indian celebrities, political personalities, journalists or analysts.

The diktat, which was issued on August 8 and has been accessed by IANS, read, "All PERMA broadcaster and distributors service licencees are hereby reiterated that there is complete ban on airing of any kind of Indian content whether in the form of clips, promos, songs, news reports, promotion of Indian actors, advertisements, political discussions and analysis etc."

The iron hand with which Pakistan is enforcing these diktats can be assessed when the PEMRA circular says, "Any kind of lapse is not only against PERMA order, but is also against the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan."

The diktat came just three days after India abrogated Articles 370 and 35-A of its Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The ban is not only restricted to the entertainment world, but has also been extended to Pakistani news channels. It has intimidated the free press in the country by asking "not to invite any Indian celebrity, political personality, journalists and analysts in their talk shows for commercial analysis which are contrary to the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan."

What's interesting is that PEMRA gives a concession "on reporting of objective and balanced views, opinions, comments and reports of Indian media in support of the joint cause of People of Jammu and Kashmir."

A rattled Pakistan and its TV censor body PEMRA doesn't hide its intention of allowing only propaganda when it asks all licencees to provide the Pakistani narrative on the Kashmir issue in their transmission.

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