Bollywood becomes the new battleground in Pakistan TV and radio blackout

Pakistan is banning Bollywood films and all other Indian content from its television and radio as tensions between the two countries worsen over Kashmir. The country’s cinemas have already stopped showing Bollywood films, but this latest move, which comes into force on Friday, goes much further. It means an end to laws allowing the screening of a maximum of 86 minutes every day of Indian programmes. Cable operators and entertainment channels have often ignored the restriction, showing Indian films and soap operas which are hugely popular in both countries.

Nothing else matters to me but my country. Going forward, I would like to say that of course I will not engage with talent from the neighboring country

Indian director Karan Johan

The tit-for-tat row is part of a long-running and increasingly bitter dispute over control of the Kashmir region claimed by India and Pakistan. This year has seen an increase in violence on the border. The Pakistan ban on Indian content, however, follows an announcement by award-winning Indian film director Karan Johan that he will no longer use Pakistani actors in his films. A major Indian cinema group has also said it will not screen films with Pakistani casts.

To sit in a theater and eat popcorn and ice cream as you watch a Pakistani movie is unfair to our soldiers

Indian social activist Prithvi Mhaske