The Pakistani Government has intended to introduce a new law which says that every artists, students and journalists have to obtain a “No Objection Certificate” before they can travel abroad, especially to India.
Let’s start with the basic question like What is No Objection Certificate ? No Objection Certificate or popularly abbreviated as NOC is a type of legal certificate issued by any agency, organization, institute or in certain cases, an individual, that does not object to the covenants of the certificate.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s pronouncement is affecting all Pakistani artists, students and journalists. The only other time something of this magnitude occurred was during President Zia’s dictatorial rule. Artists are protesting against this rule which is quite obvious.
It is being said that this decision is taken keeping in mind Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s embarrassing episode. But the thing is that one particular incident is strong enough for the government to take such decision? I personally think it’s a bizarre call by the government. Pakistani Television industry usually have their shoots abroad and obtaining an NOC everytime is going to be quite bothering for the producers if they have to wait in line to get NOCs for the whole crew !! What happened in Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s case was his mistake and he too has happily admitted it, so why such a fuss now ?? Musicians who have regular concerts abroad will suffer too. Imagine them running after the authorities to get an NOC. Getting visas are quite difficult procedure especially of India and the introduction of NOC will only add to the woes.
At present, Pakistani artistes like Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar and Veena Malik are in India, working with various film and television production houses.
This decision will also make students life hell. With all the other things that the students have to go through to get the visa now they would have to get this NOC.
Overall, if the government thinks that it is for the betterment, then sorry to say such decision doesn’t suit a democratic constitution. Had this decision come in a dictatorship it would have been unsurprising because even the world doesn’t expect such a decision from Pakistan now.