In 2019, the then government had placed a ban on Indian content in Pakistan as the tension between the neighbours continued to rise following India’s revocation of the special status of Kashmir.
Since then, there has been no Bollywood release in Pakistan. The cinemas have been running Hollywood and local films. So, when the rumour regarding Aamir Khan's upcoming offering, Laal Singh Chaddha, being possibly released in Pakistan went viral, it took everyone by shock.
The available information regarding the issue suggests that the importers were aiming for an August 11 release in Pakistan. The film is being globally distributed by Paramount Pictures and is imported into Pakistan by the Cinepax Media group.
Saad Baig, the General Manager of Cinepax Media Group told The Express Tribune that they have submitted a NOC for Laal Singh Chaddha to the Information Ministry. "We have applied for the NOC with the Information Ministry. If we receive the NOC, then the film will be released in Pakistan," Saad shared.
While the representatives of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and Sindh Board of Film Certification denied any such Indian releases in Pakistan, sources in the Information Ministry shared that a NOC request has been submitted for the release of Laal Singh Chaddha in Pakistan.
"Our policy is the same," an official at the Federal Information and Broadcast Ministry told the publication. "No Indian film or any project produced in India will be released in the country." The source added, "Laal Singh Chaddha is an Indian film and following our policy, the Ministry did not issue any NOC for the release of Indian film in Pakistan."
A source in Sindh Censor Board shared, "We haven't received any request. Once the film has to be cleared from the Information Ministry, then CBFC. Once approved from both, it is then presented to the provincial boards for review."
While the issues raised by the Information Ministry and Censor Boards are quite obvious, the industry insiders believe that there is a fair chance that the film actually might release in Pakistan. "The DCP of Laal Singh Chaddha is already here and the film has already been ingested in the system of cinemas of the adjoining locations such as Gujranwala," the source added.
"This has not happened yet in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. This could perhaps mean that there has been an understanding and the reason the importers had the film ingested in the cinemas of adjoining areas is that it is fairly easy to have the film instantly released in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad once the NOC has been issued."
In 2019, the then Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan had said in a tweet that the screening of Indian films in the country’s cinemas has been banned. “No Indian movie will be screened in any Pakistani cinema. Drama, films and Indian content of this kind will be completely banned in Pakistan," she had shared.
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