‘Hadsa’: Islamabad High Court Reverses PEMRA’s Ban on Controversial Drama

IHC’s decision has sparked a mix of reactions nationwide.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued a judgment overturning the ban on the controversial drama serial Hadsa.

The ban, imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), had been enforced following allegations that the show had exploited the trauma of the motorway rape survivor.

The judgment also issued specific instructions that the explicit scene in question, the controversial gang rape portrayal in Episode 5, should not be repeated or broadcasted in the upcoming episodes of the series. IHC’s decision has sparked a mix of reactions nationwide.

Legal expert Reema Omar shared a clip of the judgment on her Twitter account, highlighting the fact that PEMRA had not consulted the drama makers before imposing the ban. The court noted the “inconvenience caused to the applicant/appellant side, including their irreparable loss,” which compelled it to pass an injunctive order.

The controversy surrounding Hadsa initially ignited in August when journalist Fareeha Idrees shared an account of her conversation with the motorway rape survivor.

The survivor expressed her distress at not being consulted by the show’s creators before the controversial scene was aired. She sought assistance from authorities to have the drama taken down, leading to widespread public outcry.


Netizens had overwhelmingly supported PEMRA’s decision to ban the show, but the show’s star, Hadiqa Kiani, along with producers Wajahat Rauf and Shazia Wajahat, maintained that Hadsa was not based on the life of the motorway survivor.

They argued that the primary purpose of the screenplay was to raise awareness about the harrowing experiences faced by rape survivors.

The Islamabad High Court’s judgment to reverse the ban has elicited mixed reactions from the public, reflecting the ongoing debate about the portrayal of sensitive subjects and the role of regulatory bodies in overseeing content.

The decision raises questions about artistic freedom, responsible content creation, and the need for greater sensitivity when addressing delicate topics in the media.


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