Ban on Hindu mythological cartoons in parts of Pakistan

Government officials and other sources have confirmed that a similar ban has already been imposed in the province of Sindh. The bans, which have not been announced officially, are said to be part of a government strategy to curb Indian programming in Pakistan, since Indian television channels without landing rights were also taken off air earlier this year.

Sources said the Punjab government has formed a committee which will issue a report asking for a ban to be imposed on cartoons depicting Hindu mythology. A cable operator in Karachi said the ban on such cartoon characters has been in place for the past 20 days in Sindh and the operators have been following that ban.

"There are also moves in Punjab to ensure that CDs with cartoons of Hindu mythological characters are not sold," a source said. However, an official of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority claimed that no special directives have been issued for cartoons in particular, except that the Indian transmission of Cartoon Network has been taken off air as it did not have landing rights in Pakistan.

Hari Motwani, member of Pakistan Hindu Council, said the government is wasting its time on trivial issues. TV personality Shanaz Ramzi told a newspaper: "This is silly. These characters are part of Hindu culture and viewing them does not change one's belief or faith.

"So it certainly is not going to affect anybody's mindset. We are no longer the pluralistic and tolerant society that we used to be. We breed intolerance." Punjab Member of Provincial Assembly Farah Deeba told a television channel that the move was because the cartoons "had a bad impact on the minds of young children."

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