The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed ARY Digital and the makers of Jalan to review its content and script and modify it in accordance with Pakistani values.
In a 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,” said the press release.
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, it’s convoluted and twisted storyline, the drama trends on TV and social media every week.
Similarly, PEMRA also banned the repeat telecast of Ishqiya and Hum TV’s Pyar Ke Sadqay saying that the content of the dramas is against the “morals” of society. Though both dramas have completed their prime time run, they are being re-aired at different times. The notification added that the dramas cannot have a repeat telecast on the ARY Zindagi or HUM Sitaray sub-channels either.
Furthermore, the regulatory body warned drama makers that if they do not oblige with their recommendations, PEMRA will take strict action under Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance and stop the drama from being aired without any prior notice.
Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance prohibits the broadcasting or re-broadcasting or distributing of any programme that PEMRA deems is against society values. The section states: “The Authority shall by order in writing, giving reasons, therefore, prohibit any broadcast media or distribution service operator from broadcasting or re-broadcasting or distributing any programme or advertisement if it is of the opinion that such particular programme or advertisement is against the ideology of Pakistan or is likely to create hatred among the people or is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order or is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility or endangers national security or is pornographic, obscene or vulgar or is offensive to the commonly accepted standards of decency.”
PEMRA said that the channels have been repeatedly informed about viewers’ concerns regarding the content and have been directed to produce content according to Pakistan’s social, religious, social and moral values. It is pertinent to mention here that in June Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a video meeting with renowned writers across the country, urged them to promote family values and national identity through their writings and dramas.
“As there was no improvement in the script of the dramas by the channels, a final instruction was given to the channels on August 18 to produce the content of the dramas in accordance with the values of Pakistan,” read the press release.
Read more – ‘Ishqiya’ ends on a bittersweet note
PEMRA has 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.
Watch The Current’s review on Jalan here: