Thursday December 13, 2018

Pakistan partially lifts ‘Ban’ on the broadcast of Birth Control ads

Pakistan's population is growing by around 1.8 per cent a year and is estimated to reach 240 million in year 2030

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Contraceptives. Image source:Wikipedia
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Pakistan has banned advertisements of contraceptive products on television and radio. But, a recent report says, Pakistan’s broadcasting regulator has partially lifted the ban on advertising contraceptive products on radio and television.

The motto behind this ban is to reduce exposure of sexual contents among inquisitive children.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said, “it was acting in response to complaints from parents and its ban covered all contraceptive, birth control, and family planning products.”

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). Image source: pakistantoday.com.pk
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). Image source: pakistantoday.com.pk

The general public is very much concerned about the exposure of such products to children. Pakistan is a conservative Muslim country which is a home to nearly 190 million people. Talking about sex in public in Pakistan is taboo.

Pakistan population is growing by around 1.8 % per year. It is estimated that it will reach 240 million in the year 2030. This is a government initiative to encourage birth control in Pakistan.

The regulatory body has warned media organisations that legal actions would be taken if they fail to follow their directives. Advertisements of condoms and other birth control methods are also very rare in Pakistan.

The notice by PERMA Image source: pakistantoday.com
The notice by PERMA Image source: pakistantoday.com

United Nations data show that due to insufficient use of contraceptives nearly 2800 people have died of diseases like HIV/AIDS in Pakistan.

The government further said “Reduction in population growth is one of the top priorities of the government of Pakistan to maintain a balance between country’s resources and population.

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-by Pritam

Pritam is pursuing engineering and is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter handle: @pritam_gogreen

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Pakistan In U.S. Blacklist For Religious Freedom Violations

Russia has increasingly drawn concern in the United States over its treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses

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Pakistan, Religious Freedom
Members and supporters of the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) chant slogans during a protest after the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, in Islamabad, Pakistan. VOA

The United States said Tuesday it has added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, ramping up pressure over its treatment of minorities.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among “countries of particular concern” in a congressionally mandated annual report, meaning the U.S. government is obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations.

Pompeo a year earlier had placed Pakistan on a special watch list – a step short of the designation – in what had been seen as a U.S. tactic to press Islamabad into reforms.

Human rights advocates have long voiced worry about the treatment of minorities in Pakistan, including Shiites, Ahmadis and Christians.

Sikh, Religious Freedom
A Sikh pilgrim visits the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan. VOA

But the timing of the full designation may be jarring as it comes after Pakistan moved to resolve its most high-profile case, with the Supreme Court in October releasing Asia Bibi – a Christian woman on death row for eight years for blasphemy.

The government recently charged a hardline cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, with terrorism and sedition after he led violent protests against Bibi’s acquittal.

“In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression,” he said.

Nine countries remained for another year on the list of Countries of Particular Concern – China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

pakistan,Sikh, Religious Freedom
Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, center, arrives along with her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, second left, brother Atal Yousafzai, left, and the principal of all-boys Swat Cadet College Guli Bagh, during her hometown visit, March 31, 2018. VOA

The United States removed one country from the list – Uzbekistan– but kept it on the watch list.

Pompeo also put on the watch list Russia, adding another item of contention to the relationship between the two powers.

Also Read: The Hindu Temple of Gulyana and Sikh Samadhi in Pakistan

Russia has increasingly drawn concern in the United States over its treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the heterodox Christian group known for proselytization.

Also on the watch list was the Comoros, the Indian Ocean archipelago that is almost exclusively Sunni Muslim. (VOA)