Afghanistan’s Ministry of Information & Culture has banned Indian soap operas. Nine TV channels are immediately affected. Afghanistan’s private TV channels must stop showing soap operas. Afghan, Tolo, Lemar, Ariana, Tamadon, Nurin, Emroz, Farda, and Aina [all private TV] channels attended a meeting, which led to the decision being condemned as “unjustifiable and illegal” by the country’s National Union of Afghan Journalists, says a report from BBC Monitoring.
Prohibiting this daily diet of drama series, most of which are Indian-produced, is seen as the first step on a wider road to limit what’s shown on local TV.
Abdol Hamid Mobarez, head of the journalist’s union, said: “We can no longer limit cultural interaction. It cannot be limited when we have the internet and satellite channels. We have to have cultural interaction. If not from India, we will have it from another country. As was said, if they can stop Indian serials today, they will ban Iranian serials tomorrow.”
Ahmad Shah Afghanzai, head of private station Afghan TV said the Ministry has a couple of options, and suggested either presenting the issue to the country’s President in order to seek a decree, or sending a case through Afghanistan’s legal system in order to seek a judicial ruling.