Presenter: Syed Eisar Haider
Ehd-e-Wafa (2019, “Pledge of Allegiance”) is a serialized television drama that contains a wealth of tensions. First, the show is a co-production between Pakistan's military and the country’s commercial media institutions. Second, while representations of military personnel are traditionally masculine, Pakistani TV serials are overwhelmingly a feminine genre. Finally, Ehd-e-Wafa is the third installment in a long-running TV drama that dates back to the 1990s when the country was dominated by a single, state-sponsored broadcaster. Today, Pakistani TV is a privatized, multi-network industry. This presentation explores the show’s contradictions and seeks to answer these questions: how has Ehd-e-Wafa’s creative team managed these representational and industrial tensions, and how is this latest installment different from its prequels from the 1990s? Answering these questions will offer insights on how military-sponsored Pakistani TV is dealing with a changing media industry and shifting representations of gender and family.