ZEE5, Indian streaming platform to broadcast & produce Pakistani original serials

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Indian streaming platform ZEE5 will broadcast Pakistani drama serials as part of its revival plans. ZEE5 will stream hit TV serials of Pakistan- Bin Roye, Diyar-e-Dil, Tum Kon Piya, Shehr-e-Zaat, Baaghi, and many others. Moreover, the platform will also produce five new original serials. These original series will cast A-list Pakistani actors.

ZEE5 producing Pakistani original serials

The first Pakistani original serial in making for ZEE5 is Man Jogi. It stars Saba Qamar, Noman Ijaz, Agha Mustafa Hassan, Uzma Hassan, and Gul-e-Rana. Saji Gul has written the script while Kashif Nisar will direct the serial. Dhoop Ki Deewar is another serial being produced by Zee5. It stars Sajal Aly, Ahad Raza Mir, Samiya Mumtaz, Alyy Khan, Adnan Jaffer, Samina Ahmed, and Zeb Rehman. Umera Ahmed has written the serial while Haseeb Hassan has directed the serial.

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The third in the series-Abdullahpur ka Devdas stars Bilal Abbas, Sarah Khan, Ijaz, and Savera Nadeem. Other actors in the show are Anoushay Abbasi, Raza Talish, Ali Ansari, Shahzad Nawaz, and others. Shahid Dogar has penned down the serial and Anjum Shahzad will direct the serial.

Aik Jhoot Love Story’ is another Pakistani original series that ZEE5 will produce. It stars Khan, Madiha Imam, Kinza Razzak, Furqan Qureshi, Kiran Haq, Beo Zafar, and Mohammad Ahmad.

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‘Churails’ will star Yasra Rizvi, Sarwat Gillani, Nimra Bucha, Meher Bano, and others. Asim Abbasi, the Cake famed film-maker has directed and written the serial.

Revival of Zindagi Channel on ZEE5

Zee network is set to revive their Zindagi platform online as ZEE5. The channel is famous  for introducing Pakistani content in India like Aunn Zara, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Hamsafar and Dhoop Chhaon

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Amit Goenka, the CEO of ZEE5 released a statement on the revival of the brand- that showcases stories from across the world. ZEE5 is an Indian video-on-demand service run by Essel Group via its subsidiary Zee Entertainment Enterprises. It was launched in India on 14 February 2018 with content in 12 languages.

“Zindagi’s universal content has a very strong appeal and we are excited to offer this rich and engaging library to the users of ZEE5, in India and across the world. We also understand that the viewers’ needs are diverse and therefore, have a compelling content catalog from Zindagi, which encapsulates a universality of emotions,” read the statement.

Read more: 6 Pakistani Dramas to watch during quarantine

He added, “We stay committed to offering an extraordinary entertainment experience to our consumers across multiple touchpoints, and we are sure that our viewers will once again embrace this widely acclaimed brand on our platform.”

An Indian streaming platform like ZEE5 producing and broadcasting Pakistani serials can prove to be a slight shakeup in the stagnant cultural ties between the two countries-India and Pakistan.

Cultural ties soured between India and Pakistan

Currently, India has imposed a ban on Pakistani artists working in the Indian entertainment industry. Also, the media regulatory authority, PEMRA, and apex courts have imposed the ban on the Indian channels and broadcast of Indian serials on Pakistani channels. Hence, this has halted the cultural exchange between the two countries.

But, the decision of the Indian streaming platform, ZEE5 to broadcast Pakistani serials amid the threat of backlash from the right-wing political parties is a ray of hope. Also, it heralds the undeniable popularity of Pakistani serials in cross-border India- that has a substantial TV industry in terms of quantity and technical expertise than Pakistan. Perhaps, the content of Pakistani serials seems to be more engaging than Indian TV serials to the audiences.

Though Pakistani drama content often faces backlash from the local audience for the repeated storylines, domestic issues, and exaggerated portrayal of extra-marital affairs in the serials. But it could be a different experience for subscribers of ZEE5 to watch Pakistani serials that are distinct from Indian serials with respect to scripts, subjects, culture and performances of artists.

Read more: Ahad Raza Mir misses his drama serial ‘Ehd e Wafa’ in self-isolation

The inclusion of Pakistani serials on international streaming platform ZEE5 may encourage Pakistani drama producers to expand their outlook and entice the audiences with unique, unusual, and engaging drama scripts in the future.

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