The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has ordered an immediate ban on ARY Digital’s ongoing drama Jalan, saying that the content of the drama goes against the “social and moral ethics of Pakistani society”.
In a notification, PEMRA said that the content of Jalan goes against the values of the Pakistani society and that viewers and audiences have been strongly criticising the drama and its storyline. It further said that the channel and the drama’s makers had been repeatedly told to modify the script and content of the drama and bring it in line with Pakistani morals and ethics. But because they did not comply with PEMRA’s order and ignored its warnings, the regulatory body had no choice but to ban the drama under Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance.
Jalan is about two sisters Nisha (Minal Khan) and Misha (Areeba Habib). While Misha is the sweet and obedient sister, Nisha is a spoiled brat and wants to be better than her sister, so she sets her sights on her brother-in-law Asfandyar (Emmad Irfani) because he’s rich and good-looking. Ignoring the fact that her sister is married to Asfandyar, Nisha openly flirts with him and urges him to divorce his pregnant wife. Despite, its convoluted and twisted storyline, the drama trends on TV and social media every week.
In the press release, the media regulatory body said that it has been getting multiple complaints regarding the drama, its content and script through the Pakistan Citizens Portal, PEMRA social media accounts, and PEMRA call centres. It added that the content of the drama, especially the main storyline, is being strongly criticised by audiences on social media.
“Audiences have strongly criticised the drama saying that it has made a mockery of sacred relationships,” the notification had read.
PEMRA had also requested all stakeholders, including TV channels and production houses, to immediately review the content of their future dramas.
“Regardless of the cost and time invested in the drama, if the content of a play is against national values and expectations of the audience, the play will be banned without any warning,” stated the press release.
While the lead cast and makers of the drama have yet to respond to the ban, Fahad Sheikh who plays Ahmer in the drama, expressed his disappointment over the decision.