The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in a directive prohibited broadcast or telecast of commercials “produced in India” or “featuring Indian talent” in the light of their recent decision to mark their Independence Day 14 August in solidarity with Kashmiris.
People in Indian-administered Kashmir are facing various restrictions since the Indian Parliament revoked the decades-old special status of the State granted under the Constitution of India and divided the State into two federally administered territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The decision is one of the latest in a series of actions taken by Pakistan in the wake of heightened tensions with India.
The communique dated 14 August, mentions the ban on several top brands, including some international brands like Dettol soap, Surf Excel detergent powder, and Sunsilk.
It also announces that the Pakistan government has chosen to celebrate their Independence Day as “Kashmir Solidarity Day”.
Airing of commercials showcasing Indian talent on Pakistan’s television channels would be “negating state policies”, it stated.
In a communiqué sent to all the Pakistani television and radio broadcasters, PEMRA stated the ban on the Indian ads should remain until all television commercials featuring Indian talent are replaced by those produced in Pakistan, featuring Pakistani actors.
On 5 August, the Indian government announced its decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. The move prompted clashes on the Indian-Pakistani Line of Control (LoC) and led Islamabad to downgrade its diplomatic relations and suspend trade with its neighbour.
Tensions between Pakistan and India had intensified earlier this year when the Indian military conducted airstrikes in the region in response to an attack orchestrated by a terrorist group based on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.
Both the countries have ruled Kashmir in parts but claim it in its entirety, since the end of British rule in 1947.