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September 26, 2020

Imran wants to put an end to obscenity, TikTok banned

Top Story

September 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is extremely concerned about the ‘growing obscenity and vulgarity’ in society and has directed all relevant sections to check the trend before it destroys the socio-religious values of Pakistani society, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said.

Talking to The News, the minister said that the prime minister had discussed this issue with him not once or twice but 15 or 16 times and wants a comprehensive strategy to check the vulgarity being spread in society through mainstream outlets as well as social media and its applications. Faraz quoted the premier as saying that obscenity leads to an increase in crimes like the rape of children and women. He said that the premier recently told him that apps like TikTok are badly harming society's values and thus should be blocked. The minister said that he told the prime minister that the owners of such apps will first be approached to respect the values of society and ensure that no indecent and obscene content is shared.

“He (Imran Khan) is a man who has spent his life in the West and thus understands the strength of our social and cultural values, which must be protected,” Faraz said, assuring every step will be taken to check obscenity.

When his attention was drawn towards controversial content shown on PTV, as was recently highlighted in the social media, the minister said that he would soon be meeting the MD PTV to ensure that no such content is broadcast which is at odds with our social and religious values. “What I wouldn’t want my own daughter to do, I will not allow to be done by someone else’s daughter and sister,” he said and added that state-run TV should serve as a role model for private channels.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that Pemra has also been directed to check the ‘vulgarity’ being spread by private television channels. However, the authority is not enthusiastically pursuing the goal.

It has also been disclosed to The News that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed his special assistant on information Lt Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa to work on a comprehensive strategy to cleanse Pakistani dramas and films of indecency and vulgarity. Bajwa has also been told by the premier to help produce films and dramas which depict the greatness of Islamic history, introduce our youth to the character and achievements of Muslim heroes and produce constructive work free from vulgarity and unethical themes.

The source said that Bajwa is already in touch with PTV as well as TV drama writers and producers to change the trend of Pakistani film-making from its current Bollywood-centric focus to what counties like Turkey and Iran are successfully doing. The Turkish drama Ertugural, which is being shown on PTV following the directives of the prime minister, has been a great success and has broken all records.

Similarly, Prime Minister Imran Khan has also directed PTA to cleanse the internet, social media and various apps of vulgarity for users in Pakistan. PTA Chairman Maj General (retd.) Amir Azeem Bajwa recently told this correspondent that PM Imran Khan is worried about the destruction caused to the social, cultural and religious values of society by vulgarity.

The PTA chairman said that as per the constitution and law of the country, nothing obscene, vulgar and indecent could be shared. Recently, the PTA had blocked five dating applications, which were found involved in spreading nudity and promoting homosexuality by sharing indecent photographs and videos of lesbians and gays.

Earlier in July, according to a media report, PTA had issued a final warning to Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, ordering it to filter out any obscene content. It also blocked the video-streaming app, Bigo Live, though the ban was lifted a few days later once the platform agreed to moderate “immoral and indecent” content, the report read.

The PTA has also directed internet operators to ensure that no “immoral or illegal” content is made accessible to users.