Urdu 1 Has Legal Rights to air Foreign Content-What About the Local Channels?

By the end of 2012, we saw an alarming situation within the drama industry where the producers, celebrities and artists found the airing of foreign content a clear violation of their rights. News channels supported the local celebrities dedicating their program slots to the topic. We also saw artists protesting at Karachi press club demanding their rights as an actor. It was strange to find the TV channels that aired these dramas stayed neutral and avoid coming into the limelight by not talking about the issue. Geo TV still hasn’t passed any comments as a retaliation to the fingers been raised on it. However, it is Urdu 1s’ official who have finally given his words on the matter.


It is to make you clear that the telecast of Turkish dramas started from Urdu 1 with the airing of Ishq-e-Mamnu that surprising grabbed a huge audience, leaving a hope for other local channels to earn high ratings using the same formula. According to the Column that I read in Dawn news, Faraz Ansari, an official from Urdu 1 spoke about the matter.

 While he was questioned about the ideology behind the telecast of foreign content on a local channel, he clarified that Urdu 1 is a foreign channel in reality, he said:

 “It is a foreign channel and according to rules and regulations set down by Pemra, 90 per cent of its programming has to have foreign content and only 10pc can be local. We make sure that the 10pc that we do air, we do so in our prime time so it gets the projection that it deserves, we entered the market on favorable payment terms. We paid advances and we even made the local producers’ association as the arbitrators in our agreements. And we made sure that in every possible way that we are a positive change in the local drama and production industry.”

 After defending Urdu 1’s policy he further commented on the airing of foreign channels on local channels as:

“Local channels that are now airing dubbed content have certain other regulations that apply to them — they can’t air more than 10pc of overall foreign content otherwise they are in clear violation of their agreement. They are Pakistani channels and they’ve gotten their licenses based on promoting local content. Also, I think what has happened is that some channels have cancelled existing deals with these local producers in favor of these dubbed programs and that’s what’s hurting them (the protesting members of the television fraternity). But the right way to protest for them would’ve been to go against that channel and voice their concern, rather than going against putting up foreign content.”

It was then asked by him about what he thinks about the fact that if the nation would start importing in this industry too, what would be left for the people of the country. There are hundreds of workers, technicians, artists behind every project so what about them, and he highlighted that the job opportunities are enhanced for the dubbing artists, he said:

“Directly or indirectly, there are over 200 people employed with us. A lot of these are artists used to do dramas on radio, but had all but disappeared and were having a very difficult time making a living. We’ve given such people a platform to come on board and work with us — along with others that have joined them.

But before a foreign program can be dubbed, it needs to be translated into the local language. These translators work 12-hour cycles, five or six days a week.
Previously they would get a job only once or twice every couple of months. Now they have a steady income. This is just another industry that is developing in Pakistan and is contributes a lot towards generating employment.”

 Another important point that he took into consideration was about the vulgarity of the Turkish dramas. One claim against the popularity of these Turkish dramas was based on the accusation that the characters displayed a lot of skin and the programme promoted cheap vulgarity. “There is nothing vulgar in the version you see on TV. We’ve edited it according to the policies of the Pakistani censor board. Excess skin that is shown is blurred as well,” said Faraz Ansari.

“Turkey is a Muslim country,” he added. “Families have seen it over there as well as in the Middle East. In fact, it was the most-watched show in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — the last episode of Ishq-e-Memnu got 85 million viewers across the Middle East.”

Faraz Ansari is of the opinion that a lot of content in Pakistani dramas is objectionable — from the dialogues to the scenes and storylines. “If you browse through Pemra’s website, you will see a certain number of complaints lodged against each channel, primarily on Pakistani content. By and large, most of the channels that are making claims about obscene content are heavily involved in local content on a similar pattern.


“They are also heavily promoting Indian content where there is a lot of exposure of skin, provocative dance moves, abusive language and violence. But people tend to forget that,” he added.

Urdu1 is now all ready with its next project to replace Ishq-e-Mamnu from the hearts of the Turkish Drama fans. Lets see what Fatima Gul brings in the industry!


 Leaving you with  a note to judge where is our media going now, are we no more self-sufficient that we have to rely on Indian and Turkish Dramas?

Best Wishes,

Nida Zaidi

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  • Hassaan Javaid

    Hate foreign content! Love original Pakistani dramas. URDU 1 go to hell!

    • tani

      i agree with you

      • Hassaan Javaid

        Thanks tani

  • nadia

    Enter text right here!shae on u urdu 1 if its a forieghn channel then it shud be banned in pakistan

    • 1234

      in order for that to happen ALL foreign channels should be banned not just urdu one.

      • anonymous

        yessssssssssssssssssssss thats the point actually…. i wonder why ppl don't talk about other foreign channels? why just urdu 1 is being hated all the time….. it is also showing pakistani dramas as well with great cast and story line. why ppl don't appreciate those dramas.. we must demand Geo and all those pakistani channels to get banned which are showing foreign contents, and among them, specially those pakistani channels which are showing indian dance shows, indian dramas and indian reality shows, promoting indian culture. charity begins at home so we first have to stop pakistani channels for playing such dramas which are totally against our culture and ethics…..geo is also showing a turkish drama and many indian dramas, same for ary dig. which was totally unexpected. hum tv shows indian concerts by replacing the pakistani dramas……so why don't ppl talk about them………these channels must pe pure PAKISTANI CHANNELS….. no foreign content should be shown on these PAKISTANI channels……stop bashing only urdu 1 plz…….

  • wisechap

    Wether a channel is Local or Foreign, all the channels should employ some code of ethics and proper censor policy which is lacked in both foreign and local channels.

    • Hassaan Javaid


  • alena

    NO GO TO HELL..these dramas are super super like ishq mamnu anddd fatima gull,,pakistani dramas are also nice bt now these are borind day by day,,,,

    • Ibad Rao

      I disagree with you on one point that Turkish Dramas are super and I am surprised to hear they are a havoc for Pakistani plays. I tried to watch a few episodes of Turkish plays but I got bored . One thing that I felt that their stories are not much different than those of Indian dramas. The atmosphere in the drama seems artificial. The acting of most of the characters ( expressions-as lip sync is by some pakistani actor in these dubbed plays) is not praise-worthy. The only plus point they have is that their complexion are very fair they almost seems westerner. They are half westerners as Turkey is situated half in asia and half , Europe. But I agree with you that Pakistani plays are also getting boring. I want ot point out a few things. The most boring thing is slow stories , and long breaks that are called short breaks and so many ads showing during these breaks. The second element is that the stories are same in most of the plays. Hum tv is using the same furnitures and sets in several of its plays. If one actor become hit in one type of charecter he is offered the same character in a dozen plays, Action and thrill is extint from tv dramas. Only a few main plays and one or two comedy plays become hit at a time. I think drama producers should avoid monotony and give variety in storyline. If Hum tv makes a drama on one novel Geo tv also makes a drama on that novel or a similar story.

  • sami

    whatever, i never watched this bull… channel.

  • Aqeel_Ahmed

    Urdu1's spokesperson says it's a foreign channel. Then why is PEMRA allowing them to go on air in Pakistan? and another thing. Please ask GEO and Style360 (Hum 2) to stop airing Indian Dramas.

    • Hassaan Javaid

      Every Pakistani channel that is airing indian and foreign programs must be held to trial.

  • Hassaan Javaid

    Make 1000's of foreign dramas, but our only 1 is enough to beat all of them as our serials reflect our society and are mostly true while foreign and indian dramas are just fiction and full of crap.

    PAKISTANI DRAMAS ROCKS not only in Pakistan but world wide.

  • Love Pakistan

    my foot urdu 1 channel.laant ese media pr

  • S Syed


  • farheen

    What about begum nawazih Ali? Wat was that. ne veiws or that was a religious program that has a great impact in youth…. Wat styles360 showing…. Be broad and bear the competition PakistanI dramas are good but sometimes depressing

  • rabia haroon

    thts strange ary geo n hum have already been telecasting indian serials reality shows n award shows even ptv had always been importing forign drams hollywood movies ,even though india n america r our enimies but on turkish dramas they have reservations n insecurities only because of the mere standard .i beleive no one can b stupid enough to watch only a single urdu1 drama n end up at boredom n monotony we watch all the good dramas no urdu 1 starplus could ever beat hamsafar shehr e zaat quddusi sahab bulbulay mohabat bhar mein jaye but u cannot force the poor n depress people of pakistan end up at sucide after watching these sub standard entertainment it is just as it if u can send ur child to an international school affordably but send him to a govt school just for the sake of patrotism its unrealistic its bullshit dont make us fool plz

  • kisekiboa

    wth!!!! promote your own country for the sake of Pakistan!!! ARGHHHH stupid idiots! We wont have a drama industry if you keep this crap up!!

  • Daisy

    People who dont like turkish dramas are not forced to watch it.. Its up to u to watch or not..
    Pakistani actresses also wear dresses like turkish actresses but people dont object on them.. why??
    Indian dramas airing on some pakistani channels also show vulgarity but people don't object on that.. because
    they like it and thats why channels are promoting them..
    Pakistani channels also show vulgar advertisements.. showing Pakistani models.. 🙁
    Channel is channel whether local or foreign .. they should not show obscene content and if they show then
    People are well aware of what to see and what not.. !

  • faris

    the Turkish dramas are great indeed their story ..their direction the twist in the drama and on top of it their acting …great job they have done …here in Pakistan if someone is in the negative role then he would never do or say anything good in the whole serious which is crap…..but few Pakistani drams are even good….like zindagi gulzar hay etc.

  • noman

    mujhe aap ka box chaye kise milay ga