LAHORE: Cinemas in Pakistan will again start screening Indian movies nearly four months after imposing a ban on films from across the border over military tensions.
Sources in the federal information ministry told The Express Tribune on Tuesday that the PM’s Secretariat is likely to allow the release of Indian movies in the country and hopefully a notification in this regard will be issued soon.
Two Indian movies ‘Raees’ and ‘Kaabil’ are likely to be screened in cinemas this week.
The suspension of Indian screenings came after Bollywood producers banned Pakistani artists in Indian films. Financial considerations also motivated the lifting of the ban as cinema owners made losses.
Cinema owners were lobbying Nawaz Sharif to lift the ban and last week the prime minister constituted a committee in which all stakeholders were given representations.
The committee under the supervision of Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb and Irfan Siddiqui had forwarded its recommendations to the PM’s Secretariat after holding negotiations with all stakeholders.
According to the recommendations, it was advised that the old policy that was in place before the screening of Indian films was suspended in the country should be maintained.
According to the sources, during its third meeting held on Tuesday, the committee finalised its recommendations and sent a summary to the PM’s Secretariat.
Film Exhibitors Association Chairman Zoraiz Lashari confirmed the development to The Express Tribune.
“According to the recommendations, the federal information ministry will issue the NOC for the import of Indian films while provincial censor boards will review them,” adding, “There will be no change in the criteria for the release of Indian films.”
Meanwhile, anticipating the lifting of the ban, a private TV channel has already purchased Indian movies ‘Raees’ and ‘Kaabil’ after paying advance money to Indian distributors.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2017.