attaches great importance to its relations with Turkey and desires to further strengthen it further in the current circumstances through people-to-people contact. Interestingly Khan is not known to have encouraged any cultural shows from the Arab world and larger Islamic world.
“Last October, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan suggested that his countrymen watch a historic action thriller, Drilis:(“Resurrection: Ertugrul”).
Aired on Netflix, this Turkish drama series claims international viewership. The Ertugrul craze reached unimaginable heights in Pakistan,” according to an opinion piece written by Ghazanfar Ali Garewal (lecturer in the international relations department of the National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad) published in.
“Although Turkish drama series have been aired before in Pakistan, Ertugrul is breaking all the previous records. According to a rough estimate, around 134 million people watched it from April 25 to May 14.
As requested by Prime Minister Khan, Ertugrul was dubbed in Urdu and aired on the state-run channel PTV. The viewership of PTV’schannel has gone above 2 million while the popularity of series increasing with every passing day,” Garewal writes.
“…its depiction and description as a source of inspiration has exposed layers confusion that shroud the issue of nationalism in Pakistan.In October 2019, Imran Khan expressed his dissatisfaction with the content of Pakistani drama serials.
He criticized the national film industry for its imitation of Indian and American cinema. According to him, revival of past Islamic glory, remembrance of Muslim heroes and presenting narratives that are driven by the Muslim world instead of the West were compelling reasons to air Ertugrul,” according to Garewal.
The writer rued, “The hard and bitter truth is that there never was Pakistaniat and nor are there any signs for it to dawn on the horizon. Unless the direction of the national compass is set, nothing can be achieved substantially in terms of defining Pakistaniat…Presenting a drama like Ertugrul, which is replete with the theme of merciless killing of infidels and indoctrinating with the power of the sword once again, should not be depicted as a source of inspiration.”
Explaining this phenomenon Tilak Devasher, member National Security Advisory Board and author of several books on Pakistan, told ET, “Actually Pakistan started moving away from a south Asian ethos a long time ago and started seeking an identity in the sands of Arabia.
This was most reflected in change of language- thus the south Asian Ramzan became Ramadan, khuda hafiz became Allah hafiz and so on.
However, all this did not get much traction from the Arabs. Hence, continuing to be unsure of their identity and desperately wanting an identity different from India, Pakistan is now trying to latch on to a Turkish identity. This too will come a cropper.”