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Article 370 fallout: Pak launches crackdown on sale of Indian films

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

SNS | New Delhi |

The Pakistan government launched a crackdown on the sale of Indian movies and banned the airing of advertisements for India-made products on television channels in the wake of tensions after India revoked Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, according to reports on Friday.

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

She said that the Interior Ministry had already started a crackdown on Indian movies in Islamabad and it would be expanded to other parts of the country soon in collaboration with the provincial governments.

“Today the Interior Ministry raided some shops in Islamabad and confiscated Indian movies,” Awan told Dawn.

Last week, on Twitter, Firdous Ashiq Awan, said, “All kinds of Indian content have been stopped and Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) has been directed to step up its vigilance in this regard along with actions against the sale of Indian DTH instruments”.

She further said the move was in the wake of the Indian government’s decision to scrap Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“No Indian film will be screened in any Pakistani cinema. Drama, films and Indian content of this kind will be completely banned in Pakistan”, Awan added.

In a letter circulated to all its television and radio licences on Wednesday, the authority recalled that it had withdrawn permission for airing Indian channels and content on the Supreme Court’s directive in October 2018.

“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.

However, the airing at the same time of advertisements, produced in India, and carrying Indian celebrities, on Pakistani media was tantamount to “negating the state policy”, the authority added.

Tensions have been simmering between India and Pakistan ever since New Delhi on August 5 revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in order to bring in faster development and security to the state.