Travel NOC: Artistes vow to move Supreme Court

‘Decision brings back memories of the Zia era’


Express February 26, 2011

LAHORE: Artistes, singers and writers have announced they will move the Supreme Court if the government decides to go ahead with a proposal requiring them to obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for visiting India.

This was stated at a joint press conference at Lahore Press Club on Friday in response to Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s recent statement before the National Assembly that artistes, government employees, journalists and students on scholarships would be required to obtain an NOC from the government before visiting India or any other country.

Ajoka theatre head Madeeha Gahuar said Malik’s announcement brought back memories of the Zia era. She said the move violated the fundamental rights of citizens. “We are discussing the issue with senior lawyers of the Supreme Court,” she said. “Now we will have to get an NOC even if we want to go on a peace building mission.”

Actor and director Salman Shahid asked why politicians weren’t ever asked for an NOC since they always seemed to escape the country after being declared absconders in corruption cases. He said the decision made no sense and should be withdrawn immediately.

Former Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) director general Naeem Tahir said the government hadn’t learned anything from the episode of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s arrest at New Delhi airport. He said he was disappointed to see a Pakistan Peoples Party-led government deciding to impose such restrictions.

Singer Ali Noor said while no concerts were being held in the country many signers had planned trips to India. The announcement, he said, would prove a fatal blow for the music industry.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2011.

COMMENTS (1)

Farooq Qazi | 10 years ago | Reply I suggest to the government to let the artists do what they want, but with the condition that they will be on their own. They will be responsible for their own actions and the GoP would not facilitate them. We have seen many artists from our country bringing a bad name to the nation. Veena Malik and Meera being the top brass in this case. Its okay for not being a nationalist. Fine dont be one. But at least dont bring a bad name and malign the culture and value system of the people of Pakistan. Adnan Sami Khan is another embarrassing example. He lived their and gave an uplift to the Bollywood music scene. A decision he made on his own. And now after so many years, his property has been confiscated and he has been heavily fined for being a Pakistani. Can he not just rub it in their faces and quit India and come back? I would also like to know if there is any legal mechanism for stripping the nationality of people like Veena Malik and Ali Saleem cum Begum Nawazish Ali. I really feel that they should be disowned and thrown out for what they've been doing. What they're doing for money in a Hostile country that even threatens your cricketers that they will not be allowed to play the final (reaching the final seems a little wayward), I guess they would be better off as Indians rather than being Pakistanis. We dont need this sort of art in our society anyways.
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