Dubbed in Arabic, Pakistan’s most memorable play to be aired in KSA

This is the first time Pakistan Television has dubbed a local TV production for Saudi viewers, said Shahzia Sikander, PTV’s director international relations who is also spearheading the project. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 20 September 2019

Dubbed in Arabic, Pakistan’s most memorable play to be aired in KSA

  • Drama serial “Dhoop Kinare” is ready to be delivered, says the project head at state-owned PTV
  • Former information minister says Saudi crown prince transformed cultural sphere in the Kingdom

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s popular drama serial ‘Dhoop Kinare’ will be aired in Saudi Arabia this year with Arabic dubbing.
This is the first time Pakistan Television has dubbed a local TV production for Saudi viewers, said Shahzia Sikander, PTV’s director international relations who is also spearheading the project.
The project is the result of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision to modernize the Kingdom and create new entertainment avenues for its people.
“The information ministry will send it to Saudi Arabia through our foreign office,” Sikander told Arab News on Thursday. “We are also contacting different media houses in the Kingdom, in case they are interested in exchange of dramas or buying our dubbed content.”
She added it was the information ministry that assigned PTV the task to dub classic Urdu dramas in Arabic which “we accepted as a challenge and now our first project is complete for delivery.”
Sikander said the move would be a source of revenue for Pakistan and bring international recognition to the country’s local productions. It would also help Saudi nationals understand the Pakistani culture better, she continued.
The country’s former information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia was “opening up” under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, adding that his vision for the country must be appreciated.
“In the field of art and culture, he has changed the Kingdom in a big way,” Chaudhry, who originally floated the idea of such cultural exchanges, told Arab News.
He recalled that the work on the drama project began after the visit of the former Saudi information minister, Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, to Pakistan last year.
“I shared this idea with him to run Pakistani dramas in Saudi Arabia as they are much ahead in quality and values than other countries. He welcomed the suggestion and we started working on the project,” Chaudhary informed.
He added when Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, became the Saudi culture minister, “the idea once again came under discussion during my visit to the Kingdom.”
“He was very kind and promised to support my initiative of broadening the cultural relationship between the two brotherly Muslim countries,” Chaudhry added.
He pointed out that drama and film were two important mediums and could play a vital role in projecting a country’s culture. “Under this arrangement, the first Pakistani film, Parwaaz Hai Junoon, was screened in Saudi cinemas last November. Our main aim was to promote a joint production with Saudi Arabia along with Saudi investment in the fields of film and drama.”
To enhance cultural exchanges between the two countries, he continued, it was decided to form a Pak-Saudi ministerial committee on information and culture during the crown prince’s February visit. The two sides, he informed, were still working on that.
A famous Pakistani actor, Usman Khalid Butt, described this as a great initiative. “Our drama will get more global audience. In today’s world, if the content is good, language does not become a barrier. Pakistani actors will get greater international exposure through this.”
Butt added Pakistani entertainment industry needed investment and new markets. “We create between 20 and 30 films a year which is not enough to sustain an entire industry. If a joint production with another country takes place, it will be a great learning experience for us.”


EU safety agency suspends Pakistani airlines’ European authorization

Updated 01 July 2020

EU safety agency suspends Pakistani airlines’ European authorization

  • The step has been taken due to concerns about the country’s ability to ensure compliance with international aviation standards
  • PIA expects the ‘earliest possible’ lifting of suspension after action by the government and the airline

ISLAMABAD: The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) has suspended Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) authorization to fly to the bloc for six months, the airline said on Tuesday, in a major blow to the country’s flag carrier.
Separately, the safety agency said it took the action due to concerns about the country’s ability to ensure compliance with international aviation standards at all times.
The suspension follows Pakistan’s grounding of 262 of the country’s 860 pilots — including 141 of PIA’s 434 — whose licenses the aviation minister termed “dubious.”
“EASA has temporarily suspended PIA’s authorization to operate to the EU member states for a period of six months effective July 1, 2020 with the right to appeal,” PIA said in a statement. It added it would temporarily discontinue all its flights to Europe.
Confirming the move in an emailed statement, the EASA referred to a recent investigation by Pakistan which it said showed a “large share” of pilot licenses to be invalid.
Pakistan’s grounding of the pilots followed a preliminary report on a PIA crash in Karachi that killed 97 people last month.
PIA said it is in contact with the EASA to take corrective measures and appeal against the decision, adding that it expected the “earliest possible” lifting of the suspension after action by the government and the airline.
The EASA also suspended the authorization of another Pakistani airline, Vision Air International.
Vision Air International did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Following the EASA’s decision, the UK Civil Aviation Authority said it, too, was withdrawing PIA’s permit to operate from three of its airports, as required under law.
“PIA flights from Birmingham, London Heathrow and Manchester airports are suspended with immediate effect,” a spokesman for the UK authority told Reuters.
The three were major flying destinations for the airline.
Meanwhile, Pakistani pilots and their union, the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA), say there are discrepancies in the government’s list of pilots with licenses deemed dubious and are demanding a judicial investigation.
PIA and private airline Air Blue have also queried the list with PIA saying 36 of its pilots mentioned had either retired or left the airline, while Air Blue said it no longer employed seven of nine pilots on the list.
“It contains names of highly educated and qualified pilots who have passed all the tests,” PALPA’s president, Chaudhry Salman, told Reuters. “We want a fair and impartial resolution to this matter.”
An official at Pakistan’s aviation ministry, Abdul Sattar Khokhar, said they did not have full details of the discrepancies. “The issue is being sorted out in consultation with airlines and civil aviation authorities.”