A recent directive by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on scenes involving physical shows of affection between couples on screen has left people questioning the body’s priorities. In an official document, PEMRA has asserted that no “hug/caress scenes” should be aired since, according to the directive, they go against the teachings of Islam and do not depict a “true picture of Pakistani society.”
The PEMRA document went viral on social media, with several people on Twitter asking why authorities are against consensual acts of romance on screen but do not take issue with scenes depicting domestic abuse.
The document read, “On the prevalent trends in the Pakistani drama industry, PEMRA is not only receiving complaints from the general public on the Pakistan Citizen Portal (PCP) and PEMRA Complaints Call Center and Feedback System but also criticised on social media/WhatsApp groups.”
It continued, “A considerable stratum of society believes that dramas are not depicting true picture of Pakistani society. Hugs/caress scenes, extramarital relations, vulgar/bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and the culture of Pakistani society.”
Several Twitter users took to the app to question the authority’s perception of Pakistani culture, as well as ask why acts of violence and abuse are not condemned in the same manner.
Depicting married couples hugging each other & other acts of affection/intimacy = haram— Reem Khurshid (@ReemKhurshid) October 23, 2021
Depicting men physically assaulting women (without any content warnings) = halal
Pemra has really got its priorities straight https://t.co/jlfEOamkKL
PEMRA says no hugging and caressing on TV screens anymore but will continue showing physical abuse bc ofc that isn’t “indecent” na— soha (@SohaTazz) October 23, 2021
PEMRA finally got something right:— Reema Omer (@reema_omer) October 22, 2021
Intimacy and affection between married couples isn’t “true depiction of Pakistani society” and must not be “glamourised”
Our “culture” is control, abuse and violence, which we must jealously guard against imposition of such alien values pic.twitter.com/MJQekyT1nH
PEMRA is right.— anastipu (@teepusahab) October 23, 2021
Hugs, caress scenes, bold dressing and intimacy between married couples shouldn't be glorified and should be banned as this is not our culture.
Maulvi raping kids in madrassas, husband beating wives, thats our culture, now that's some cultural content.
So basically PEMRA said that intimacy with your spouse and hugging your partner is unislamic ,whereas inflicting physical and mental torture on your partner is according to Shariah and culture of Pakistan.— hassaan (@dahnhnh) October 23, 2021
Some users shared content depicting themes of incest, asking why how PEMRA could allow that but take issue with hugging
pemra will ban hugging but not this and honestly im not even surprised pic.twitter.com/pjMxE76HBg— muhammad (@applemuhammadd) October 23, 2021
A Twitter user blamed such actions on part of the regulatory body for leading to sexual frustration in society
PEMRA: keeping the pirated porn industry alive. pic.twitter.com/Db6QxFDPFJ— Nida Kirmani (@NidaKirmani) October 22, 2021
PEMRA has ordered against the airing of any 'objectionable' content, stating, "All satellite TV licenses are required to stop airing such content in dramas, henceforth, and ensure compliance of PEMRA laws in letter and spirit."
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