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.”


Government hopeful to avert opposition protest through dialogue

Updated 18 min 47 sec ago

Government hopeful to avert opposition protest through dialogue

  • Says it’s opposition’s right to protest, but the government won’t allow anyone to create chaos
  • Analysts maintain the JUI-F chief has acquired political relevance by mounting pressure on the government

ISLAMABAD: The government has started contacting opposition parties to dissuade them from launching a mass protest in the federal capital, said defense minister Pervez Khattak on Thursday.
“We have started negotiating with all opposition parties and hopefully [the effort] will yield positive results in the next couple of days,” he said in an informal chat with journalists in Islamabad.
The prime minister on Wednesday announced to form a committee led by Khattak to hold talks with the opposition factions, especially the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) that has announced to start its “Azadi March” on October 27 and enter the federal capital on October 31 to dislodge the government.
JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has been struggling to start an agitation against the government since the general elections in July last year wherein his party only managed to clinch a dozen seats in the National Assembly.
He has now received political support from other major opposition groups – the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – who accuse the government of deteriorating the country’s economy and victimizing opposition politicians by slamming them in jails on corruption charges.
“Pakistan is a democratic country and we want to resolve all issues of the opposition through dialogue,” the defense minister said, though he also warned the opposition parties against creating an environment of chaos and turmoil in the country.
“It is their [opposition’s] democratic right to protest, but if the opposition only wants to spread anarchy in the garb of agitation we won’t allow it,” Khattak added.
Meanwhile, the JUI-F has ruled out the possibility of talks with the government until the prime minister resigns from his position. “This is an illegitimate government, a product of rigged elections and we may talk to them only after the prime minister resigns,” Hafiz Hamdullah, senior JUI-F leader, told Arab News.
He said that “all preparations for the anti-government march are in place and no force can stop us now from marching toward Islamabad.”
Political analysts said the government’s engagement with the opposition parties to stop their protest at this stage would not yield result, but some differences over issues, such as transparency in elections and improvement in governance, can be worked out.
“Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who was reduced to a nobody after the last year’s elections, has succeeded in garnering political relevance through mounting pressure against the government,” Zahid Hussain, a political commentator, told Arab News.
He said the opposition parties would protest against the government as per plan, but “they will neither succeed in getting the prime minister’s resignation nor a new date for fresh polls in the country.”