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Entertainment Industry of Islamic Republic of Pakistan

We got our independence in year 1947 and after 74 years of our inception we are trying to run our country’s affairs with best suited political system in place. In our political system we have different ethnic political parties that belong to specific region or cultural belt and we recognize them as regional parties belonging to specific province or ethnicity. Some parties also claim to be national parties but their dominance is restricted to the province or region they belong to and they represent only a particular culture and mindset.

We proudly say we are citizens of a country known as Islamic Republic of Pakistan and we live in a democratic state that is trying to build a stable political system since its inception. The political system that will provide a just system and can make Pakistan a progressive and economically strong nation. The day we got our independence, we had no constitution so we had this question in our mind how we will run our country as we are a Muslim majority nation with different cultures and languages that we speak, how we want to run our state affairs how to promote Muslim culture and what Islam teaches us as Muslim. We did acquire a separate homeland for Muslims of Pakistan and all the combined assets were distributed based on the population count, infrastructure that was needed for both countries keeping in mind they will reinvest in the resources to create wealth for their country. The land and wealth were divided to empower the people of both countries to govern state affairs in the interest of the people living in their country.

Unfortunately, as we were ruled by Britishers over 150 years and we had this inferiority complex that was inculcated in our minds by the British rule, we had no vision other than to follow the West. As West was dominant in the twentieth century and still holds its position of leading all nations of the world, we tried to take the same path and made West as our role model in everything as we had no experience of making a new better system or option that was available to us as we were long ruled by Britishers. They invested in infrastructure in our region for economic prosperity and brought their own culture with them that was not similar to our local culture but it was imposed on the people living with different values and cultural backgrounds. The result was the masses were unable to integrate with the Britisher’s but they were left with no other choice to leave their own cultural values and accepted the new system and culture which did not belong to them. A had a confused personality that was influenced by British rule. Our cultural values were dismantled by the West and we forgot our identity and became Pakistani citizens with Western mindset that was not by choice but in subordination of British rule.

The entertainment hub was Bombay at the time of partition as all major film industry production houses moved to Bombay where they started investing in the entertainment industry and soon it became a place for all film stars and music stars to come and learn if they want to pursue it as a professional career. Whereas Pakistan was also trying to establish its own film and music industry for entertainment of the Pakistani people and soon they made institutions that started creating an entertainment industry in accordance with the Muslim values keeping in mind the right message with positivity is delivered throughout all communication channels to enlighten the people of Pakistan and entertain them based on cultural programs, films, music and poetry.

Radio Pakistan was the first effort towards bringing in information and entertainment to the people of Pakistan. Programs in all languages were broadcast in different places of Pakistan. Pakistan Television Corporation started podcasting television programs in 1964 with a team that was all capable of making the best entertainment programs of that era to fulfil the needs of the people of Pakistan. The newspaper publishing industry was already established before the inception of Pakistan and soon after Pakistan came into being many of the new publishing houses started to print a wide range of publishing print media entertainment and newspapers for the information and entertainment needs of the People of Pakistan.

Due to political instability the institution was not able to work under one framework. The liberals and conservatives were the two schools of thoughts that wanted entertainment to be directed towards their own agenda. The continuous change of direction led us nowhere as we were not sure what are the guidelines set by the Government that we need to follow. The martial law that was imposed after one another was also a reason that no long-term communication policy was in place. Whoever came did not know what to do but started promoting its own image by giving messages and entertainment based on its own likes or dislikes. They wanted people to see what they wanted people to see. We had two media centric approaches to make media progressive or Islam phobic.

All channels were directed to promote either one point of view and were never able to go smoothly with a consistent integrated framework for the information and entertainment industry. The censor board was also formed to make a system that will help grow the industry in a positive way but it was not the only reason that has affected our film industry. Lack of investment in infrastructure equipment and theatre from where the raw talent was to be streamed into the industry was not done by any government. The private sector was also kept away to be part of the industry that has great potential and for two decades the television and entertainment industry has moved from government owned television channels to private sector. Before private industry was brought in the PTV was the only channel that was broadcasting throughout Pakistan almost in all big cities and small towns with a centralized control system that was controlled by the federal government. For each province and its capital city a television station was producing various programs that were centrally broadcasted to create a united image of the country that had only one loud speaker for all the nation. For some people it was a stereotype approach and people were not always comfortable to have one point of view. It’s human nature it argues and want to know more than one explanation as that may appeal him more than the other. The private sector was called in making it easy for anyone to enter the industry, make better programs for entertainment and educate people with a different point of view. It was not that much independent as in the western world but the basic outline was given to the industry that would not bring any disrespect to the entertainment industry.

The more channels came to existence the ad industry also had a chance to expand it meant more funding for the channels to reinvest and therefore they can create a better program for the viewers. The PTA “Pakistan Telecommunications Authority” is the regulatory authority that is responsible to provide guidelines for the private TV channels so that they do not go beyond the given limits and do not pursue a negative political agenda that can create a security unrest in the country and for this reason all communication done in entertainment and information domain must be aligned with national interest of the country. It’s a best suited approach and serves the national interest of Pakistan as we are surrounded with both internal and external threats and with so many channels in the country the PTA policy framework serves national interest of the country.

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Category: Socio Political

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