Pak launches crackdown on sale of Indian film CDs

Islamabad: Pakistan has launched a crackdown on the sale of CDs of Indian movies and banned the airing of advertisements featuring India-made products on television channels in the wake of soaring tensions between the neighbours over the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have banned Indian advertisements and launched a crackdown on CD shops to confiscate Indian movies,” said Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information.

Awan told Dawn on Thursday that the interior ministry had already started a crackdown on Indian movies in the federal capital and it would be expanded to other parts of the country soon in collaboration with the provincial governments.

“Today the interior ministry raided some compact disc shops in Islamabad and confiscated Indian movies,” she added.

The move comes amid soaring tensions between India and Pakistan following New Delhi’s decision to repeal Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate the region into two Union territories of Ladakh – without a legislature, and Jammu and Kashmir – with the legislature.

In response, Pakistan took a series of measures that included the downgrading of diplomatic ties between the two neighbour, suspension of bilateral trade, halting of the operation of Thar and Samjhauta Express trains and a ban on Indian movies.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has also prohibited airing of advertisements for India-made products on television and radio networks.

In a letter circulated to all its television and radio networks on Wednesday, the authority recalled that it had withdrawn permission for airing Indian channels and content on the Supreme Court’s directive in October last year.

“However, it has been observed that advertisements of various products of multi-nationals, which are either produced in India or carry Indian characters, are being aired on electronic media,” said the letter posted on Pemra’s Twitter account.