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Mehreen Jabbar not happy with ZEE5 ban in Pakistan

She thinks it will hurt local entertainment industry

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 13, 2020 | Last Updated: 11 months ago
Posted: Nov 13, 2020 | Last Updated: 11 months ago

Photo: Walnut

Director Mehreen Jabbar is not happy with the government’s decision to block Indian streaming platforms, including the ZEE5 video-on-demand service, in Pakistan. She thinks the ban will only hurt the entertainment industry.

“They might have made it more difficult to access ZEE5 in Pakistan at the moment but hope we find a way out of it because the only thing that will be hurt because of this ban is our own industry,” she wrote on Instagram.

Read on: Indian entertainment platform to air original content from Pakistan

She shared few monochrome shots of her directorial web-series Ek Jhooti Love Story which has been streaming on the platform since October 30.

Starring Bilal Abbas Khan and Madiha Imam, the series is a sweeping tale of two people looking for their ideal partner. It’s a light-hearted family drama with compelling, quirky characters and a fascinating exploration of different kinds of relationships.

Earlier, the director had told SAMAA Digital that she was reluctant to take up the project at first but is thankful that she did. “This project gave me déjà vu from one of my favourite series Daam,” said Jabbar. “The reason is that there was no creative interference. The decisions coming from the producers were for the project’s benefit.”

According to the notification issued by the State Bank, Pakistanis will no longer be able to make payments for their subscription of Indian streaming services.  

The State Bank said that a letter from the Cabinet Division has instructed it to stop different modes of payments, including credit cards, for subscribing to Indian content in Pakistan. It specifically mentioned ZEE5 in its notification.

The platform is known for producing series that would not otherwise be able to be produced in Pakistan. Churailsfor example, became the subject of controversy for its stark dialogue that people criticised for “spreading vulgarity”.

ZEE5 even removed the show from its app for Pakistani audiences after the criticism grew heated but later made it available again.

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