Pakistani parliamentary committee calls for ban on foreign TV content

Louise Duffy | 04-01-2013

A Pakistani parliamentary panel has asked the government to ban all foreign content in any language during prime time on television.

According to the Daily Times, during a committee meeting on Thursday, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting recommended that if the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) rules allow airing of the foreign content then it should only be subtitled in Urdu or English.

The committee suggested that PEMRA should strictly monitor TV operators and take prompt action over violations. The committee said that the permitted 10% of foreign content should be in proportion with local content, and that foreign content was being misused by the television channels.

Information and Broadcasting Secretary Rashid Ahmed informed the committee that an amendment in the PEMRA law could only be made by parliament. He agreed with the proposals that foreign dramas were damaging local culture and should be banned. Pakistan Television (PTV) Managing Director Yusuf Baig Mirza told the committee that PTV’s dramas were still popular both inside the country and abroad.