A Pakistani newspaper on Thursday hailed as “a welcome development” the Lahore High Court’s ruling striking down a ban on broadcast of Indian TV shows on private television channels. “It is definitely a case of better sense having prevailed,” the Dawn said in an editorial.
The High Court struck down a notification issued last year by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), which argued that the content of Indian dramas was objectionable and contrary to the ideology of Pakistan. On Tuesday, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ruled that the electronic media regulator needed to revisit its policy, given that the world had become a global village and that placing unreasonable restrictions was not reasonable.
“The decision deserves appreciation,” the Dawn said. “For one thing, in this age of internet connectivity and digital media, there is no sense in attempting to block certain content when there are so many ways of accessing it.
“Where the greater picture is concerned, however, what must be thought about is the future of Pakistan-India relations,” the editorial said. “In recent months, cultural ties have increasingly become a casualty in the historically difficult diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
“Notwithstanding what is happening on the political front, the long-term goal is for Pakistan and India to conclude some framework of mutual cohabitation.However, what we are seeing is the expansion of the theatre of confrontation; in large part, this is the result of moves across the border where resentment against Pakistani artists working in India in the wake of the Uri (terror) attack last year has increased.
“Such trajectories stymie possibilities of future thaws. Now that the ban on Indian content on Pakistani channels has been struck down, it would be a welcome move for Indian broadcasters to reciprocate – especially when Pakistani television shows reportedly enjoy the same popularity across the border as Bollywood fare does over here. Trite as it sounds, the future lies in cooperation,” the Dawn said.