Pakistani film directors  advocate ban on screening of Indian movies

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By Muhammad Luqman

In a tit for tat move, the umbrella organization of Pakistani film directors  has suggested a ban on all Indian film and drama content within Pakistan in cinema halls as well as on TV channels.

“ We take strong exception to the politically motivated , inflammatory remarks and derogatory actions of  Indian film producers’ bodies FWICE and IMPPA against Pakistani artists, musicians, actors and technicians,” The Directors’ Guild of Pakistan said in a statement.

Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) has refused to withdraw its ban on Pakistani artists working in India. The ban was imposed about two years ago, right before the release of Fawad Khan’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Mahira Khan’s Raees alongside Shah Rukh Khan and has since caused turbulence on both sides of the border for artists.

In 2016, the film workers association of Raj Thackeray’s party had given a 48-hour period to all Pakistani artistes to leave their country otherwise they said they’d do it themselves, forcefully.

Pakistani directors body has also suggested ban on all TV commercials that include artists of Indian nationality irrespective of the place where commercials are made. It has also opposed the work of Pakistani artists in any Indian film, drama , commercials or any other such activity.

The Directors’ Guild of Pakistan has rejected  provocation by a section of Indian counterparts in an attempt to derail the peace initiatives led historically by the artists of both countries and considers it an unwarranted step to whip hostile sentiments between the two neighbouring countries.

Pakistan’s movies watchdog, Central Censor Board has banned the screening of nine Bollywood films over the last 15 months. Pari of Anushka Sharma is the latest one  with content deemed unfit for country’s audience. Bollywood used to contribute at least 60 to 70 per cent to the film exhibition business  in Pakistan, before a blanket ban was imposed in 2016. PadMan (February, 2018), Tiger Zinda Hai (December, 2017), Partition: 1947 (August 2017),  Tubelight (June, 2017), Naam Shabana (March, 2017), Jolly LLB 2 (February, 2017), Raees (January, 2017) and Dangal (December, 2016) are among these movies.

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