PEMRA issues show-cause notice to Udaari

Published: May 13, 2016
The hit serial highlights the issue of child abuse in our society.

The hit serial highlights the issue of child abuse in our society. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

In a surprise move, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has served a show-cause notice to HUM TV seeking an explanation for the portrayal of ‘unethical’ scenes in Udaari.

The notice sent to the makers of the hit TV serial — which has received appreciation for highlighting the issue of child abuse — states that the episode aired on May 8 shows an uncle (played by Ahsan Khan) forcefully luring his niece into illicit activitiesIt further states that the same episode also shows Ahsan’s character having wrong intentions for his juvenile stepdaughter.

Ahsan Khan plays a stepfather with wrong intentions for his stepdaughter. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

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As per the notice, the portrayal of these scenes didn’t go down well with the viewers, parents in particular. Pemra has also claimed that psychiatrists believe such acts can evoke sinful sentiments of evil minds in society.

The media regulatory authority has said it received a number of complaints against the channel on it’s official Twitter account and helpline number.

PEMRA’s notice to HUM TV. PHOTO: BBC

Udaari stars walked the ramp at BCW to raise awareness about child abuse. PHOTO: FILE

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Despite the allegations however, lead actor Ahsan Khan has been praised for his performance. “We as a nation and as a society need to educate each other on such issues and drama is the best medium to do so,” Ahsan said while speaking to The Express Tribune.

When asked how he feels about Udaari being served a notice, he said,  “We need to look beyond saas-bahu sagas and divorces to address critical issues and help create awareness.”

Ahsan also said that the team was mindful of the sensitivity of the issue at hand. “This serial has shown the issue in a lighter way as opposed to more explicit content we usually see on our news channels and social media.”

“How can we say no to highlighting the issue in a subtle way, especially when it has constantly being overlooked?” he questioned.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Ahsan Khan
    May 13, 2016 - 4:24PM

    It seems that the drama has hit the nerve of some PEMRA official in the wrong spot. Such shows should be aired to identify and root out the evils of our society. Recommend

  • Eirabie
    May 13, 2016 - 4:27PM

    Why we Pakistanis do not accept reality in shows and films. Democracy allows us to portray what is good and bad in us, unlike in dictatorship which wants to show a rosy picture only. However in the last few weeks a number of notices have been issued by so called “social muhafiz” for not showing the reality. Maalik the film, and Udaari are few of the examples. Besides these there are other media shows which have been sent notices, because someone in the palatial palaces in Islamabad does not like what is being projected. I believe the democracy in Pakistan is in danger from these people, who want to hide the real truth in plain view from the people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mussa
    May 13, 2016 - 5:21PM

    Hum TV is showing evils in our society. Don’t become choked society like Saudia Arabia please. These people at PEMRA have too much time on their hands and maybe should retire. There is nothing wrong with this drama. Well done Hum TV.Recommend

  • SaneVoice
    May 13, 2016 - 7:41PM

    Highlighting this isn’t bad but doing that in a family time drama isn’t appropriate either. Recommend

  • Israr
    May 13, 2016 - 7:52PM

    There are no explicit scenes in Udaari. Anyone who is mature enough to understand what is going on is also mature enough to be educated on how to protect their and others’ children. We have a serious issue in our society where children are abused by the very people who parents trust with their children. The only solution is to accept this menace and educate people on how it happens, what impact it has and how to prevent it. Udaari is seeking to do just that.

    We Pakistanis happily watch explicit scenes of Bollywood movies with our children with no objection but as soon as someone among us tries to raise awareness of a social evil, we criticise them for showing the society the mirror.Recommend

  • Tariq
    May 13, 2016 - 9:43PM

    Very good move. The excuse that the TV is showing the evils of the society is nonsense. They are in fact spreading it among the people espacially among those who are not aware of such things. Recommend

  • Sarah
    May 13, 2016 - 10:44PM

    As a pakistani girl from karachi, I experienced child abuse just like my cousins, friends and classmates did. but we were supposed to keep everything hidden. at what cost? my parents sent me to a tutor every day after school. that man sexually exploited every girl and boy in his care. he found ways to fondle our private parts and play sex with him. This kind of shows are very important to be shown on TV because then a parent might give a second thought before sending son or daughter to a tutor. I always wonder why my mother, my grandmother never thought that a man can do this to me (I was 7 or 8 and the tutor was 28 or 35). please let this kind of dramas air on TV because us pakistanis like to hide these things but at the end our children are suffering. I support Udarri 100% because I’m a victim of child abuse in Karachi.Recommend

  • Sheeba
    May 14, 2016 - 1:06AM

    It is a big issue in our society kids are exploited by tutors family members in the protection of our own homes… Kids need to know that as well. So they can report it.. Society kay nasoorRecommend

  • Imran
    May 14, 2016 - 2:20AM

    Child molestation exists in every part of the world. Western world is infested with it too. But they don’t show it on mainstream media. Especially not in family dramas. Liberal media has the tendency to push the boundaries, it is the job of society to keep them in check.Recommend

  • Diamond
    May 14, 2016 - 4:45AM

    tv shows should have full rights to show the evils of the society within their limits,however nudity in soap operas should not be allowed since it is not compatible with Pakistani society.Recommend

  • SS
    May 14, 2016 - 10:14AM

    Fake pakistani identityRecommend

  • Brekhna
    May 14, 2016 - 10:24AM

    Child-sex abuse/molestation is widespread in the society. Mostly close relatives are the culprits. PEMRA has shown the usual attitude of trying to sweep the filth under the carpet. Though the scenes in the drama serial are a bit disturbing, but it is a reality. Hats off to the team far taking up such an issue.Recommend

  • SH
    May 14, 2016 - 11:06AM

    Why was showing rape and turning the rapist into someone worthy of sympathy in Sangat not an issue for Pemra but this is?Recommend

  • Faiza
    May 14, 2016 - 2:49PM

    and ofcourse PEMRA has no issues on morning shows that gives society a complex by showing luxury weddings and outfits, that doesn’t come in ” socail evil” category Recommend

  • Waseem
    May 14, 2016 - 3:11PM

    Very good move.Recommend

  • Huma Durrani
    May 14, 2016 - 3:24PM

    It was high time an issue as prevalent and neglected as child abuse was brought to the forefront and what better way to do it than through a tv drama. Kudos to everyone who is responsible for the production and airing of a superb serial such as Udaari. PERMA should reconsider their backward looking stance. Awareness about such serious issues is necessary as it paves the way for action. As for one of the comments above that this play will give people ideas…I would like to say, on the contrary, it may encourage vigilance and even prevent abuse in many cases. Let’s not pretend that child abuse is not a huge problem in our society. Recommend

  • Srehman
    May 14, 2016 - 8:42PM

    It is a really good drama highlighting and raising awareness about this thorny issue,it’ll be a shame if it gets banned the reality is much worse,i work with pakistani community and many times I have come across young girls who have similar complaints about their father in law ,father in law denies the whole thing his family and girls families always want to sweep the matter under the carpet ,because they cannot handle the truth ,in the end it’s the girl who suffers because even their own families abandon them as they refuse to return to that house where father in law resides …complete hypocrites …Recommend

  • Raisani
    May 14, 2016 - 11:13PM

    Very good step by PAMERA in fact all this type of craps in the name of so-called awareness should be banned.Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 15, 2016 - 1:32AM

    So…Udaari which reflects ill in society is wrong…….but to loot and plunder the exchequer and stash it away in foreign lands, refuse to answer Parliament and claim no wrongdoing……… is right ? Recommend

  • Faisal
    May 16, 2016 - 4:11PM

    Very good step of PEMRA it need to ban this dram serial immediatelyRecommend

  • kathy
    May 25, 2016 - 4:22PM

    Uddari has hit the nerve because we all know that such exploitation occurs and usually at the hands of family members, family friends and acquaintances. This play is raising an awareness and opening a debate on such crimes and would make parents and children aware of such criminal behaviour. Instead of worrying about such scenes, PERMA should worry about such crimes committed against children all over Pakistan.Recommend

  • Shumail
    May 29, 2016 - 10:21AM

    They do show in their movies and their channels telecast the news too , which part of the world you live ….. all child molester do not want udarri to be telecast.Recommend

  • Faisal Manzoor
    May 30, 2016 - 9:35AM

    It is good that PEMRA took srtict action against this drama. It need to ban this dram serial immediatelyRecommend

  • Jun 12, 2016 - 1:43PM


  • Khaleeq
    Aug 25, 2016 - 6:49PM

    Actually, these topics are openly showed in other countries. I live in the UK and many tv shows that are on tv at 4:00-7:00 openly discuss these types of issues. There is nothing wrong with this show. If anything, romantic shows are alot worse as they not only show premartial relationships, but also show them in a good light. Atleast Udaari clearly shows this as a disgusting act.Recommend

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