Amidst media speculation from both Indian and Pakistani news agencies, the central film Censor Board of Pakistan dispelled rumours that the film, Ek Tha Tiger has been banned. The news circulated after the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) directed TV channels and distributors to refrain from airing promos of Ek Tha Tiger. However, the censorship board found no reason to ban it from theatres.
“The film will be censored when it is released so we have not taken any decision to ban it,” said the vice chairman of the censor board, Muhammad Ashraf Gondal. Gondal also went on to refute claims about Pemra’s alleged letter to the board.
“We have not been sent any notice or letter, so there is nothing at this moment,” he added.
On Monday, a document, reportedly written by Pemra, was issued to all satellite TV channels and distribution networks to “refrain from airing promos/reviews of the subject (Ek Tha Tiger) till the time it is issued NOC from the central board of film censors”. The document also stated that this move was taken because “the contents of this film are reportedly based on the activities of ISI and RAW. Besides, the basic theme of the story revolves around ISI with the objective to tarnish the image of state owned institutions.” At the end, the docment said that “the matter should be given utmost preferemce and due care must be taken to uphold the country’s image”.
According to film distributor Nadeem Mandviwalla, Pemra had released this as more of a precautionary notice against the release of the film instead of an official letter.
“This notice was issued on the assumption that the film will be banned in the censor but the letter also gives lee-way that if it passes the censor, it will be fine as well,” Mandviwalla said.
Ek Tha Tiger is a romantic action thriller starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif and is scheduled for release on August 15. The plot revolves around a secret agent who embarks on a journey to find a scientist selling missile secrets to Pakistani intelligence. Produced by Yashraj Films and directed by Aditya Chopra, the film is set to release in Pakistan around Eidul Fitr.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.
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