A pragmatic move

Published: December 19, 2016
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In a neighbourly relationship that is the very definition of dysfunction, the Pakistan-India spat of 2016 continues even as there are signs that both sides are growing tired of this latest round of machismo. Misplaced patriotism which has been fed on both sides through years of selective news coverage and biased representations of history have led generations of Pakistanis and Indians to grow up hating their neighbours even while consuming the arts and entertainment that crosses over from the border. Pakistani actors and singers have found stardom in India while Indian films and TV shows have huge audiences in Pakistan. No amount of historical differences, conflicts on the LOC and fiery speeches by incensed politicians have been able to convince the people on either side that they should stop watching content produced in the other country. Even as we continue to support our government and military through social media vitriol, Indian songs have been blaring as per usual during the current wedding season.

Small wonder then that Pakistani cinemas have decided to lift the self imposed suspension on screening Indian films. The suspension came into effect in October when the Indian Motion Pictures and Producers Association banned Pakistani artists and technicians from working in India. In retaliation, Pakistan Exhibitors and Distributors Association decided to suspend screenings of Indian films until the ban on Pakistani artists and technicians was lifted. There were plans to lift the suspension which were delayed following the Quetta Police Training College incident. However, after weeks of no further change in both countries stance on the ongoing issue, Pakistani cinemas have decided to re-initiate screenings of Indian films. Given their popularity, these films are highly lucrative to cinemas and suspending their screenings was causing heavy losses. Bans and suspensions in arts and entertainment are peripheral issues when it comes to the Pak-India relationship. It is therefore a welcome decision by Pakistani cinemas to show the people what they want and not give up on their much needed profits that benefit our economy.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • vasan
    Dec 20, 2016 - 6:36AM

    Its all money, honey.Recommend

  • F Khan
    Dec 20, 2016 - 8:55AM

    We should have not banned the Bollywood films in the first place even if they are banning our actors etc. Banning is no solution to this issue.We do not need to be mad if they they are behaving like one.Recommend

  • Yul47 London
    Dec 20, 2016 - 9:15AM

    It is time the act is repeated by the electronic media. The choice should be given to the people to choose what viewing they enjoy. Usually there is a small window in the evening when one can sit to relax after a hard days work. Pakistan and India should avoid tit for tat confrontation as it escalates into a meaningless Cold War. Recommend

  • Yul47 London
    Dec 20, 2016 - 9:48AM

    It is time both countries demonstrate maturity as tit for tat confrontation a hallmark of relationship between Pakistan and India has been a failure only to extend the Cold War between the two countries. The choice of viewing should be rested with the people with little or no government interference. The electronic media should borrow a chapter of cinema organisers in their decision to show Indian Films. Recommend

  • Giri
    Dec 20, 2016 - 10:25AM

    It just shows soft power of India in Pakistan. No power can wipe it from Pakistani minds.Recommend

  • whats in the name
    Dec 20, 2016 - 10:44AM

    Excuse my innocence, i have never watched any serial, drama or movies done by Pakistani’s so do not include us. I am from South, if at all i have watched some thing of your shows, it would be the conspiracy theories and the illogical talk shows on youtube….. if you consider that as entertainment, then yes…Recommend

  • F Khan
    Dec 20, 2016 - 1:56PM

    @Giri:I do not know about soft power but bollywood films are popular here in pakistan and similarly pakistani tv dramas are liked in india, kohli is liked in pakistan and wasim akram in india.We should not bring ego and superiority in such issues.Recommend

  • Bhaijaan
    Dec 20, 2016 - 6:52PM

    Where did you get that poster accompanying the article? The SRK film was actually titled:”My Name Is Khan, – and why aren’t you on your knees already”.Recommend

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