In response to mounting public disapproval, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has enforced an immediate prohibition on the airing and re-airing of the television series Hadsa. This move follows considerable backlash regarding the drama’s purported depiction of the Motorway rape case.
The notice’s title stated, “Objectionable content/theme of drama serial Hadsa. Barrister Khadija Siddiqi, Advocate High Court, filed a grievance via Barrister Muhammad Ahmed Pansota, Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan, invoking Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002.
The storyline of the drama, seemingly inspired by the distressing event—a claim refuted by actor Hadiqa Kiani and director Wajahat Rauf—provoked significant public dissatisfaction. Multiple viewers aired their grievances on PEMRA’s official Twitter, emphasizing the potential harm the show might inflict on the victim’s psyche. Following these concerns, PEMRA assessed the show and concluded that Hadsa portrayed a “deeply unsettling” narrative, misrepresenting Pakistani society. The statement also remarked that such depictions could harm Pakistan’s international image, implying it’s an unsafe environment for women.
The regulatory notice proclaimed that broadcasting or re-broadcasting of the drama serial Hadsa is now prohibited under Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002, as modified by the PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007. This issue has been passed onto the Council of Complaints for further review and a final decision.
In a translated statement, PEMRA indicated that this ban emphasizes its dedication to preserving high-quality content that aligns with Pakistan’s cultural and ethical values. The action also reminds broadcasters to maintain content standards and honor public emotions.
Finally, the show’s future depends on the Complaints Council’s decision, which follows the PEMRA Act and Code of Conduct. This scenario illustrates PEMRA’s crucial role in media oversight and integrity in Pakistan.
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