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Pakistan: Two Bollywood films banned

17 March 2016

ishq forever and neerja

In the continued practice of Pakistan banning the release of Indian-made films, ‘Ishq Forever’ and ‘Neerja’ are the two latest films that will not be given screen time in the country, according to multiple sources.

Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) determined romantic drama ‘Ishq Forever’ to be “objectionable”, reported The Express Tribune on 19 February 2016. CBFC chairperson Mobasher Hasan said that the panel “unanimously” banned the film because it is “tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims”.

Additionally, the film certification boards in the Punjab and Sindh regions also banned the film and the CBFC contacted the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to request cable operators to also ban the film.

Another film, the Sonam Kapoor vehicle ‘Neerja’ tackling the hijacking of Pan Am flight 73, will also not be screened in Pakistan. In this case, however, the film was not banned by the CBFC. Instead, the directive came from the Ministry of Commerce, which did not allow the film to be imported. The ministry also contacted PEMRA to ban it from cable channels, reported The News Minute on 11 February 2016.

Newspaper The Hindu reported that according to a ministry official the film was banned due to portraying Pakistan in a “poor light”.

The banning of these films follows in the footsteps of 2015 when several Hindi films were also banned for a variety of reasons, including portraying negative images of Islam, Muslims, and Pakistan, and presenting controversial themes or bold scenes.


Sources

» The Express Tribune – 19 February 2016:
‘Ishq Forever’ banned in Pakistan

» Cinema Blaze – 13 February 2016:
‘Neerja’ banned in Pakistan

» The News Minute – 11 February 2016:
Pakistan bans Sonam Kapoor film Neerja even before censor submission

» The Hindu – 11 February 2016:
‘Neerja’ banned in Pakistan


Related information

» Artsfreedom.org – 17 September 2015:
Pakistan: Court dismisses petition to ban Indian films

» Artsfreedom.org – 25 August 2015:
Pakistan: Various Bollywood films banned

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