viewers deemed the drama morally wrong
Pakistani drama serial Hadsa was recently banned by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
The decision was made after a public uproar stating that the story appeared to be inspired by the harrowing motorway rape incident which occurred in 2020.
The victim contacted journalist Fereeha Idrees in a bid to have Hadsa taken off air.
As a result, a formal complaint was issued by human rights lawyer Khadija Siddiqi and the serial was banned by PEMRA.
The complaint complies with Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance Act, 2002, amended by the PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007.
But this is not the first time that a Pakistani show has faced action from PEMRA.
We look at six other shows that were investigated or even banned by PEMRA.
Jalan was one such project which caused a major protest at its time of release.
The story revolved around Nisha (Minal Khan) who became obsessed with her sister’s husband.
It then turned into a love triangle between Asfandyar (Emmad Irfani), his wife Misha (Areeba Habib) and his sister-in-law Nisha.
A ban was issued by PEMRA after viewers deemed the drama morally wrong and that a relationship between a woman and her sister’s husband was against the rules of society.
The ban was reversed a week later.
Dil Na Umeed To Nahin
Dil Na Umeed Tho Nahin was a 2021 release and starred Yasra Rizvi, Yumna Zaidi, Nauman Ijaz, Samiya Mumtaz and Wahaj Ali.
The drama was based on child trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Although the show had a strong storyline, it was deemed distressing and was criticised for such an intense portrayal of such sensitive topics.
As a result, the show was banned by PEMRA due to the harrowing storyline and was labelled as inappropriate for television.
Ishqiya was a popular drama with a stellar cast of Hania Aamir, Feroze Khan, Ramsha Khan and Gohar Rasheed.
The drama highlighted toxic relationships, betrayal and blackmail.
The story was centred on the love story of Hamna (Ramsha Khan) and Hamza (Feroze Khan). Hamna came from a family that does not believe in the concept of a love marriage.
The story continues when Hamna gives in to her parent’s wishes and marries Azeem (Gohar Rasheed).
As an act of revenge, Hamza marries Rumi (Hania Aamir) who is Humna’s sister, as a means of staying in Humna’s life and blackmails her in return for Rumi’s happiness.
PEMRA banned Ishqiya for highlighting extramarital affairs and normalising toxic relationships.
Pyar Ke Sadqay
Pyar Ke Sadqay began as a lighthearted serial which followed the journey of Mahjabeen (Yumna Zaidi) and Abdullah (Bilal Abbas), who are seen as social misfits due to their simple, shy and quirky personalities.
Although the drama got off to a good start, it soon turned dark after Mahjabeen and Abdullah got married.
Mahjabeen found herself an object of desire for her father-in-law (Omair Rana), who was against their marriage due to his own lust for her.
Although the show reached its conclusion, repeat telecasts of the show were banned by PEMRA after multiple complaints from viewers.
Viewers stated the show highlighted sexual assault within the family, a topic which is still very much brushed under the carpet.
Juda Huay Kuch Is Tarha
Juda Huay Kuch Iss Tarha rocked the entertainment industry with its unconventional storyline revolving around the marriage between two foster siblings.
The drama was compared to the American fantasy series Game of Thrones which was heavy in its portrayal of incest.
There was an uproar on social media and many angry fans called for the ban of Pakistani dramas as a result.
One angry netizen had written: “It is time to boycott and disown Pakistan media and ban them from our homes. I start with my own home where I have packed up our TV.”
Another wrote: “Game of Thrones now available in a smaller pack.”
Writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar was pinpointed for writing the script which was understood to be a violation of normality in society.
PEMRA subsequently banned the drama as it promoted incest and indecency within Pakistani society.
Popular drama Tere Bin also found itself under investigation by PEMRA, however, it did not suffer a ban.
The investigation took place after an episode implied that marital rape had taken place.
The scene followed an altercation between Murtasim (Wahaj Ali) and Meerab (Yumna Zaidi) which led to the latter spitting in her husband’s face.
The following scene showed an angry Murtasim pushing Meerab onto the bed and closing the bedroom door.
The next episode showed a distressed Meerab sitting on the floor whilst Murtasim was in a state of shock.
PEMRA notified the creators of the serial to remove the scene in question and issued a warning in which it was stated that further occurrences would result in action being taken against them.
While Hadsa was banned by PEMRA, it is clear that other shows have faced action due to their controversial storylines.
Some shows have received warnings from PEMRA while others have been banned altogether.