“PEMRA: keeping the pirated porn industry alive.”
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has asked local television channels to censor scenes that contain hugs, vulgar/bold dressing and intimacy between couples.
The order comes after the authority received several complaints against such scenes shown in television dramas.
In a leaked document, authorities also revealed that the media regulator was being heavily criticised on WhatsApp groups.
The order issued by PEMRA said:
“A considerable stratum of the society believes that dramas are not depicting the true picture of Pakistani society.
“Hugs/caress scenes/extramarital relations, vulgar/bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couple are being glamorised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society.”
It added: “Forgoing in view, all satellite TV licensees are required to stop airing such content in dramas, henceforth, and ensure compliance of PEMRA laws in letter and spirit.”
Issued on October 22, 20121, the order included a list of content that should be censored.
The list includes “indecent dressing, caressing, bed scenes and gestures, sensitive or controversial plots and unnecessary detailing of events”.
The PEMRA order also said:
“These scenes are highly disturbing, distressing for the viewers and against the commonly accepted standards of decency.”
The order has drawn criticism on social media with many netizens asking why the authorities are against consensual acts on screen.
One user said:
“Pakistan never considered issuing such orders for the tv serials that show domestic abuse, misogyny and intolerance.
“But if a husband is shown to be affectionate to this wife, BURN IT DOWN!”
Another said: “PEMRA: keeping the pirated porn industry alive.”
Human rights professional Reema Omar took to Twitter to voice her opinion.
In a tweet, she wrote: “PEMRA finally got something right.
“Intimacy and affection between married couples isn’t a ‘true depiction of Pakistani society’ and must not be ‘glamorised’.
“Our ‘culture’ is control, abuse and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values.”
TV channels will now have to review the content of the dramas with an in-house monitoring committee.
As a result, drama shows will have to be edited or amended per the PEMRA notice.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) document concluded:
“Forgoing in view, all satellite TV licensees are required to stop airing such content in dramas, henceforth, and ensure compliance of PEMRA laws in letter and spirit.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistani drama serial Juda Huay Kuch Is Tarha has received backlash as the show’s teaser portrays the marriage of foster siblings.