MUMBAI: Streaming platform ZEE5 on Friday issued a statement addressing the critically-acclaimed series 'Churails' unavailability in Pakistan, saying the decision was purely in compliance with the directive the team received and the show is now back to the service.
"Churails" (witches), which started streaming on the digital platform from August 11, follows four Karachi women -- 'perfect wife' Sara (Sarwat Gilani), wedding planner Jugnu (Yasra Rizvi), boxer Zubaida (Mehar Bano) and ex-convict Batool (Nimra Bucha) -- who start a detective agency for wives with cheating husbands.
The series, backed by the Indian video on demand service and directed by British-Pakistani director Asim Abbasi, garnered favourable reviews in India with critics praising it for a fresh feminist take on intersectional patriarchy.
"Our aim has always been to create content that resonates strongly with viewers across the globe. 'Churails' has been a phenomenal success story for us and has been lauded and loved the world over."
"The show was taken off the platform in Pakistan purely in compliance with a directive that we received. We have now addressed the matter and reinstated the show on our platform," a ZEE5 spokesperson said in a statement.
The streaming platform's response comes two days after Abbasi alleged that 'Churails' has been "shut down in its country of origin".
"How strange for #Churails to be lauded internationally, and now be shut down in its country of origin. In the very country where hundreds of artists came together to create something that could initiate dialogue and open doors for new narratives," the director posted on Twitter on Wednesday.
A senior official of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) told PTI in Lahore that it had received complaints about "Churails" for having vulgar content but it does not come in the purview of the authority.
An official from Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), said "Churails" was removed for viewers in Pakistan by the streamer.
"It's a decision by Zee5, and neither PTA nor any other local authority has anything to do with it," the official had said.
"Churails" is part of the re-launched Zindagi channel under Zee Entertainment, which paved way for immense popularity of Pakistani stars like Fawad Khan, Sanam Saeed and Mahira Khan by curating their hit dramas "Zindagi Gulzar Hai" and "Humsafar" upon its launch in 2014.
The platform unveiled the trailer of its next Zindagi Original 'Ek Jhoothi Love Story' on Thursday.