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Billboards featuring pictures of female models vanish from Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Following the footprints of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) rulers, the NWFP coalition government, led by the liberal and progressive Awami National Party (ANP), has removed billboards in Peshawar featuring female models.

Sources told The News that the provincial government removed the billboards after it received threats from a subsidiary group of one of the MMA component parties, led by a former MNA. The group is known for smashing signboards carrying images of models during the tenure of the provincial government of the six-party alliance. The sources said there were reports that the group was planning a strong campaign against the billboards featuring female models in allegedly suggestive and obscene poses.

They claimed that some of the hoardings were even removed by that group, which upset the city bosses, who themselves launched the drive against the publicity boards featuring female models for “objectionable poses and dresses.”

They said the step, besides tarnishing the image of the province, would adversely affect the advertising industry. The MMA step had affected the advertising business by 20 to 30 per cent and this time too it might be detrimental to the provincial economy.

However, District Coordination Officer Sahibzada Muhammad Anis told the media that the decision was taken in response to public complaints against billboards. He said the district administration had received several complaints from citizens regarding billboards showing female models. The people had sought immediate action from the government in this regard.

During a whirlwind visit of the metropolis, it was observed that the skins of all the billboards having female models had been removed and most of the hoardings were wearing barren look.

Haji Ghulam Ali, district Nazim, however, said that two weeks ago the advertisers were asked to remove the boards obstructing roads’ widening work. He said the removal of the billboards had nothing to do with any threats, saying that the district administration had received complaints regarding traffic problems due to the billboards. The Nazim offered no comment when asked as to why only skins of billboards featuring women were removed while those featuring male models or photos of products were intact.
Source: The News
Date:5/5/2008

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