In response to a complaint by attorney Khadija Siddiqi, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Wednesday imposed a ban on the broadcast of the drama “Hadsa.” The choice was made in response to complaints that the show’s focus was on the 2020 highway gang rape case.
In its statement, the PEMRA stated that on its Twitter account, @reportpemra, it had received multiple complaints from viewers over the drama serial’s narrative and theme.
Through Barrister Muhammad Ahmed Pansota, Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan, “Barrister Khadija Siddiqui, Advocate High Court, has lodged a complaint against the subject drama serial and prayed to take action under Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 and other enabling provisions of law.”
Several complaints over the “plot/theme of the drama serial on its Twitter Handle” had also been made by viewers, according to PEMRA, it was stated. The narrative and theme of the drama series “Hadsa,” which is based on a true story that happened on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway, are being criticised by viewers.
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) August 30, 2023
“Viewers are criticising the plot/theme of the drama serial ‘Hadsa’ based on a real incident that took place at Lahore-Sialkot motorway,” the notification added.
The authorities claimed that the drama series was being watched and that its premise and plotline were “highly inappropriate, disturbing, and not accurately portraying Pakistani society.” Social media and the general public are in commotion about this drama series, and PEMRA, the regulator, is receiving criticism for its inaction.
Geo TV began airing the drama serial “Hadsa” over three years after the occurrence, which garnered criticism from many social groups. There have been questions regarding the claimed lack of consent from the victim as well as how the show handles sexual assault, especially its explicit portrayal.