Islamabad: A Pakistani parliamentary panel on Thursday called for a ban on advertisements featuring Indian models and suggested that it should be mandatory for female anchors on news channels to cover their heads with a dupatta.
The suggestion was made by the Standing Committee for Information and Broadcasting of the National Assembly or lower house of parliament during a meeting attended by Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira.
Reacting to the panel's call to ban advertisements featuring Indian models, Kaira said the issue was in court and it would be better to wait for the judiciary's decision. He agreed with the panel's members that local culture should be promoted as Pakistan has a rich heritage.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case related to obscenity in television programming, including advertisements. During a recent hearing of the case, the Chief Justice himself had reportedly objected to an advertisement for a hair removing cream featuring Bollywood star Katrina Kaif, saying it could not be watched by families.
Besides Kaif, Indian stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Shilpa Shetty and Kareena Kapoor appear in advertisements for various products beamed on Pakistani channels. Kaira said during the parliamentary panel's meeting that Pakistan had conveyed to the Indian government at many forums that it is allowing the screening of Indian channels and films, but the move had not been reciprocated by India.
Pakistan is a responsible country and due to this strategy, relations with India had improved, he said. Kaira further said the whole country is facing terrorism and everyone would have to fight this mindset with unity. He said there is a dire need to promote a culture of tolerance in Pakistan.