Waar, a propaganda movie?

Published: October 18, 2013
Some on Twitter are not pleased with the movie because of its overly-patriotic script.  PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Some on Twitter are not pleased with the movie because of its overly-patriotic script. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Not everyone was happy as Pakistan’s most anticipated movie of the year Waar opened on the first day of Eidul Azha, with some online terming it “ISPR-funded propaganda”.

The movie was released on 42 screens across Pakistan and beat the box office record for an opening day take of Rs11.4 million.

It is an action/thriller and drama film, written by Hassan Waqas Rana and stars Pakistan’s actors, Shaan Shahid and Shamoon Abbasi. The storyline has been inspired by the war on terror in Pakistan and its effects on the world, but with a stylised interpretation of it.

Though majority of the people are proud of having a Pakistani movie to cheer for this Eid, some said the script was sub par and functioned as propaganda.

Others believed Waar was perfectly acceptable – propaganda or otherwise.

What the director said

In 2012, Waar Director Bilal Lashari had told The Express Tribune that the “ISPR has no involvement in Waar. Hassan Waqas Rana, the writer and executive producer has funded this film. MindWorks Media did a project in the middle of Waar for the ISPR called the Glorious Resolve. There has been some confusion as some people thought the shoot for Glorious Resolve was actually for Waar.”

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Reader Comments (83)

  • Unknown
    Oct 18, 2013 - 12:55PM

    Fed up with the stories made up by picking tweets of people. Grow up ET.


  • Ashkenazi
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:14PM

    If it is a US propaganda it will be good, Emmy Oscar worthy but if it is ISPR it is bad propaganda. Both sides are hypocrite at best.


  • Lal
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:18PM

    How can any one say that the movie is super hit even on first day ? Since the collection was good only because of long holidays.There is no entertainment apart from bollywood movies and very few lollywood movies which comes like once in a year, that’s sound good, but does not mean that it revived whole pakistan film industry !


  • Ali
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:19PM

    So Taliban are now film critics? What is the world coming to.


  • AR
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:25PM

    a movie is a movie no matter who funds it just like biryani no matter who cooks as long as it is good.


  • WARisRAW
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:31PM

    Soon the sequel – Graand Waar


  • shoaib
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:32PM

    India has made at least a dozen anti Pakistan movies. So it’s no big deal if we made one film against India.Recommend

  • Saad Siddiqui
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:39PM

    Pakistan’s industry is on the verge of revival, no one is saying that it has revived !


  • Mustafa
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:40PM

    Waar is a great movie. Its definitely a must for everyone. Don’t care about critics; they are paid to do criticism for criticism’s sake.


  • Ali
    Oct 18, 2013 - 1:49PM

    To those who are wondering, Waar means “strike” in Urdu. It is not a misspelling of the English word “war”.


  • Randomstranger
    Oct 18, 2013 - 2:03PM

    Express Tribune’s attempt to appease its majority of readers, who happen to be Indians. This report should have been in the entertainment section, and not on the main page. As far as propaganda is concerned, movies like Hurtlocker and Zero Dark Thirty were one of the most biased and factually incorrect that I have ever seen, yet they didn’t get a spot on tribune’s main page.

    P.S: Don’t block this comment. Censoring abusive and direct comments make perfect sense, but censoring the comments that you don’t agree with doesn’t in the slightest sense. Democracy is actually listening to the opposing side.


  • Sami Ullah
    Oct 18, 2013 - 2:24PM

    ET, a propaganda news site?


  • suzo
    Oct 18, 2013 - 2:52PM

    i don’t know about ‘waar’ but ‘main hu shaid afridi’ was superb! ;-p


  • Bilal
    Oct 18, 2013 - 3:06PM

    What about Oscar winning “ARGO”?Was that not propaganda?
    I can count scores of Indian movies against Pakistan,there are hundreds of Hollywood movies against Russia.No one calls them propaganda but when a Pakistani movie shows reality everyone loses their mind.
    As far as the tweets are concerned, no one gives a damn to these people who couldn’t do something for our cinema and are now criticising those who have tried to revive our cinema.


  • Oct 18, 2013 - 3:23PM

    Waar is a word in pashto as well. Waar de raoray da

    Please correct me if I am wrong


  • aim
    Oct 18, 2013 - 3:35PM

    @ shermeen obaid…

    are you kidding me?
    she won an oscar on what plot? the topic was cliched again!
    highlighting the social miserable state with poor visual content.

    our so called social intellects are so ridiculous at times.Recommend

  • Liberal
    Oct 18, 2013 - 3:48PM

    Wow! People weren’t so offended when the movie Border was released in India; rather they drooled over Sunny Deol’s machismo. Now when a similar product surfaces in Pakistan, all they can come up with is propaganda and ISPR. Grow up, guys!


  • Muhammad saleem Usmani
    Oct 18, 2013 - 4:08PM

    Yeah….are you sure? What about Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker and what about 100s of baseless Indian movies? So these pseudo intellectuals are disappointed that even in a movie if Pakistan is winning its unacceptable so it has be ridiculed!

    Come on….stop appeasing your masters like that….there are better ways to beg!


  • Liberal
    Oct 18, 2013 - 4:18PM

    @Randomstranger: Touche!


  • Stone
    Oct 18, 2013 - 4:51PM

    Did someone see Rafay Mehmoods tweet….he took it to twitter after the amount of negative comments he got for his foolishly immature review of the film!!! Et be man enough to accept criticism against u and publish my comment!!


  • panidabulbula
    Oct 18, 2013 - 4:54PM

    Tweets are from all the usual suspects…
    Anyone calling WAAR a propaganda, needs to see indian news TV channel like india today, aaj tak, NDTV etc. It will most definitely re-define the word propaganda for you. And will show you the bluntness with which it is done. After a while, it may start to sound funny because of the lack of responsible reporting or it may disgust you because of the ease with which billions of indians are lied to about Pakistan day in and day out. With WAAR, atleast there is some evidence of India using Afghan soil against Pakistan.
    1) Gilani giving evidence to Singh in Sharm-alShaik, Egypt about indian involvment in Balochistan.
    2) Chuck Hagel (US, DS) admitting in public of indian causing trouble in pakistan
    3) Indina army cheif admitting of a secret funds and a secret unit doing covert ops in pakistan…
    And these are just examples of news in the public domain. So how is WAAR propaganda if its based on real events. Open your eyes and see the bigger picture (pun unintended!)


  • M. Emad
    Oct 18, 2013 - 4:59PM

    After a 13-day long WAAAAAAAAAAAR, 93000 Pakistan Army surrendered in front of thousands of public at Dhaka Race Course to joint Bangladesh and Indian Forces. This is the biggest (public) surrender of any army after World War ll. Also, 1971 WAAAAAAAAAAAR was a record shortest WAAAAAAAAAAAR in mordern history.


  • usman
    Oct 18, 2013 - 5:25PM

    Come on…….. if this is the criteria then Indian movies Border, Ek tha Tiger, Agent Vinod, Gadar, Kabul express and many more are not propaganda movies


  • HRK
    Oct 18, 2013 - 5:38PM

    Those who look for revival in our cinema would appreciate this movie and the effort to reunite the nation through a series like this. PTV dramas like Dhuwaan, Angaar Waadi, Aahan and Alpha Bravo Charlie have done it in the past and this would work great as a reiteration. Those who don’t like it or claim that it’s sponsored by ISPR can go back to watching mindless bollywood movies or whatever suits them.


  • Pradhan
    Oct 18, 2013 - 5:43PM

    disturbing thing is the likes your comment has got. you really think Hurtlocker and Zero Dark Thirty is biased???

    I wonder what could be the truth in your opinion.

    Argo is not propaganda movie it just tells you a group of American’s story who were left in Iran. I don’t think it says anything against Iran either.

    I have not seen Waar yet but I will not definitely pay money to watch it either considering how Pakistani pirated cd industry have been destroying Bollywood. I am waiting for the DVD print.


  • Rahil Yo
    Oct 18, 2013 - 5:48PM

    What’s funny is the ones who criticised Waar and the ones who are friends of Meesha Shafi. Goodbye Meesha Shafi’s dreams for Bollywood and we will see how much this tolerant society accepts her again. Anyways…I have seen the people’s twitters and surprisingly their opinions are not valid since many of their tweets mock Islam, anti-Pakistan, and a sense of pro-India and pro-America. Of course they were not going to take the film easy….I myself was dissapointed with using India as it will only more just make the population confused. However it is also just entertainment and there are hundreds of anti-Pakistan films coming from across the border… I hope ET publishes this because my comments never do get published, peace.


  • sidjeen
    Oct 18, 2013 - 5:50PM

    @ AluChat if ET understood pashto they wouldn’t post your comment. :)


  • Ureed Akbar
    Oct 18, 2013 - 6:14PM

    Saw the premiere, truly mesmerising experience to watch , sound , action sequences , the patriotism effect it has on you, the trembling feeling, all the actors did a fantastic job, minor issues like accent and screenplay the movie seems like a perfect doze of full fledge entertainment. You gotta give it to the whole team as this took them a while to make it, also inspires upcoming film makers like us. Cheers


  • bangash
    Oct 18, 2013 - 6:17PM

    Alpha Bravo Charlie was also ISPR funded propaganda but Pakistanis still love that drama serial.


  • Javed
    Oct 18, 2013 - 6:18PM

    The biggest enemies of Pakistan are among its own citizens: the so-called “liberals”, also known as “The begeirat brigade” of Pakistan which are totally against the Army who is protecting them and losing their lives on daily basis for the future of our people. These liberal traitors should leave Pakistan and go to US or India if they hate Pak Army that much!


  • H B
    Oct 18, 2013 - 6:31PM

    The island that ET people live on seems to shrinking with every comment…


  • Jayesh
    Oct 18, 2013 - 7:05PM

    If liberals are not there, then your country become like somalia long before


  • Fawad
    Oct 18, 2013 - 8:14PM

    we really need these sort of reality based movies in Pakistan in answer of pro indian “aman ki aasha” type stuff going on our india funded media..


  • Bilal
    Oct 18, 2013 - 8:36PM

    So what was presented in ARGO?Iran was presented as some kind of tyrant society and in every movie American and their allies are portrayed as saviours of world,which isn’t true.Please name a single movie in which Russian’s side of story or Nazi side of story has been presented.Not even a single one and I am not complaining for that.
    My point is movies can never be neutral and those who expect movies to be neutral are not realistic.Indians make movies showing their side of story and surely we have got the right to show our side and this shouldn’t be called as propaganda.


  • Randomstranger
    Oct 18, 2013 - 8:36PM


    People speaking arabic in Abbottabad shows how accurate the film, Zero Dark Thirty is. In hurtlocker, all iraqis are virtually shown to be evil, who’d go to any length to kill Americans. In Iraq war, everyone now knows which side was the evil one. And when I say “everyone”, it includes a huge segment of USA’s society as well.

    Secondly, before you people bash WAAR, fix your own house first.


  • Sparta
    Oct 18, 2013 - 8:45PM

    @M. Emad:

    “After a 13-day long WAAAAAAAAAAAR,
    93000 Pakistan Army surrendered in
    front of thousands of public at Dhaka
    Race Course to joint Bangladesh and
    Indian Forces. This is the biggest
    (public) surrender of any army after
    World War ll. Also, 1971 WAAAAAAAAAAAR
    was a record shortest WAAAAAAAAAAAR in
    mordern history.”

    You got your facts wrong, stop reading Indian history textbooks, there weren’t 93,000 Pakistani soldiers that surrendered, in fact there were around 40,000 Pakistani troops that were taken as prisoners, the other 53,000 prisoners were ordinary civilians that were non-Bengalis.

    Pakistan lost that war not because we were weak or because India were stronger, it was because of the distance between East and West Pakistan, it was really difficult to transport troops and weapons into East Pakistan, we couldn’t fly over India and had to take the longer route, we also had no support by any other country whereas India had Soviet assistance , plus we also had no local support.

    It wasn’t the shortest war in history, the shortest war EVER was the Anglo-Zanzibar war that lasted only for 40 minutes, but if false facts makes you feel good about yourself then feel free to continue believing your history books.


  • Oct 18, 2013 - 8:52PM

    You got it pal :D


  • M. Sarmad
    Oct 18, 2013 - 9:41PM

    It’s your thinking baby. What about the era of Hazrat Umar(R.A)? Which was a totally religius era and was also the most peaceful. There should be balance in every thing. “Dean” and “Dunya” cannot be seperated.


  • Zain
    Oct 18, 2013 - 9:50PM




  • Ali
    Oct 18, 2013 - 10:10PM

    All of these Indian peanut pickers are hurt by this movie…..


  • Spyrogyra
    Oct 18, 2013 - 10:17PM

    Watched it. Loved it. Will watch it again. ISPR propaganda? Don’t care! All the pseudo-intellectuals can shut their trap.
    Well done Waar team.


  • Lol
    Oct 18, 2013 - 10:25PM

    You missed a major thing is that india destroyed your only port karachi in 1971 and there by blocking oil supply, so that you are unable to sustain war with mighty india.1971 war not only fought in present bangladesh, but also on eastern side of your border.


  • South Indian
    Oct 18, 2013 - 10:30PM

    @Fawad: Indian movies do not show Muslims as bad people. If there is a Muslim protagonist, there will always be a Muslim protagonist. Unlike this movie where the only two antagonists are Hindus.

    India is not just about Hindus. If something happens, we Indians of all religion are prepared to resist.


  • Taruntk
    Oct 18, 2013 - 11:10PM

    There is nothing wrong in creating propaganda films to boost morale but you don’t create propaganda films based on alternate universe of reality. Pakistan’s problems with TTP have nothing to do with India but everything to do with PAK army’s history of backing various forces like Taliban , al Qaida in 80s and 90s to battle soviets in Afghanistan and to install proxies in Kabul. After 9/11 when US forced PAK army to do a u turn at least against al Qaida, many of local tribal allies of al Qaida formed TTP to resist PAK army’s u turn. Pakistan army is basically battling the monster it created to fight India and interfere in Afghanistan. But showing the true picture would put PAK army the only institution which works in PAK in bad light so they use India as punching bag. Pakistan’s identity is based on what it is supposedly not and not on what it really is. It is this identity crisis at the root of conflict which Pakistan faces with its homegrown terrorists and India.


  • Pacer
    Oct 18, 2013 - 11:13PM

    Who sponsors ET?


  • ABK
    Oct 18, 2013 - 11:25PM

    @M. Emad:
    USA got kicked in Vietnam and now Afghanistan, Russia got humiliated in Afghanistan, India was taught a lesson by Chinese in 1962, Germany was defeated in WW2, millions surrendered in WW1 and WW2 but u only watched those Pakistanis who fought against all odds, who were subject to deception by so called Friends, who were abandoned by own people, the same plot is now being used by Indians in Balochistan and people like you and most of the above tweeters are proving that now India dont need to place its assets like Kashmir Singh and Sarabjeet Singh in Pakistan…


  • Ind
    Oct 18, 2013 - 11:40PM


    LOL. Don’t cook up (or should I say cook down) numbers man!

    Luckily there are pictures and video of the surrender, otherwise you would say pakistan army did not surrender at all :-))



  • Asad
    Oct 18, 2013 - 11:55PM

    @South Indian:
    Go get your facts right. As if we don’t know what you show.


  • Asad
    Oct 18, 2013 - 11:57PM

    @Author: By the way who sponsored you? Would you mind telling us the truth here?


  • Javed
    Oct 19, 2013 - 4:54AM

    And you missed a major thing that Pakistan threw india out of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in 1947, and the 1965 war where your air force planes could not be seen anymore!


  • khan of quetta
    Oct 19, 2013 - 7:23AM

    hey my grandpa was fighting along mujahideen in kotli area during partition


  • khan of quetta
    Oct 19, 2013 - 7:28AM

    i will watch this flick when the croud gets slimmer at cinemas


  • Nauman
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:20AM

    some people have issues with this movie as they are ones who dont like to be patriotic ….


    Oct 19, 2013 - 4:01PM

    Watch out WAAR last night ….excellent movie…and true representative of Pakistani Nation….people speaking against it….are certainly anti-pakistani forces…Its just presentation of whole Pakistani nation feelings. So alarming for enemies of Pakistan while its just movie :) don’t worry whole Pakistan have same feelings for INDIA and TTP


  • Saqfi
    Oct 19, 2013 - 5:05PM

    I don’t give a damn about the people. I just wanna watch this movie coz i love Guns.


  • noor
    Oct 19, 2013 - 5:24PM

    So whats your point ????? @M. Emad:Recommend

  • Shakil
    Oct 19, 2013 - 5:35PM

    Dont wet your chuddies man, its just a film!


  • Khan
    Oct 19, 2013 - 6:03PM

    Good movie and good topic, regardless of who support it.


  • Patriot
    Oct 19, 2013 - 6:23PM

    Pro-Indian $$$ media and SAFMAs are quiet disturbed with #WAAR ….!!! As for as the funding by ISPR is concerned… Our “media” should be well aware of the there own fundings aka #USAID from white house and Indian Sponsored SAFMA…..!!!


  • Fawwad
    Oct 19, 2013 - 7:47PM

    I never cared about the facebookies and tweeties. They are the people who never leave a chance to discourage Pakistanis and i hate them. Surprisingly All these facebookies etc have no problem with indian or american propaganda movies they would give 5 out of 5 to Agent vinod with love.


  • Indian
    Oct 19, 2013 - 10:46PM

    grow up kiddo..azad kashmir & gilgit was never a part of india to be snatched away by pak..in 1948 war raja hari singh of kashmir decided for accession to india while pak send raiders across border & then war started when india sent soldiers to fight pak raiders..till UN ceasefire was announced india has already captured present day J&K accounting 63%..& if the war has continued india has taken away gilgit baltistan..so there is absolutely rubbish to say pak snatched azad kashmir & gilit from india as they were never a part of india to be snatched away..

    & secondly even your air marshall nuur khan & ashghar khan accept pak started 65 war by op. gibralter & subsequntly lost..time magazine ,US congresd library,all foreign writers & neutral websites accept pak lost 65 war..so dont live in your own fool paradise..in 71 war 5000 sq miles of west pakistan(present day pakistan)apart from east pakistan(bangladesh)was captured by indian army which was later returned as per shimla accord,half of your navy was destroyed & karachi was burning by indian navy op. trident & op. python..in 1984 siachin war indian army captured 95% siachin including pak army qaid post & 3000+ pak soldiers died..in kargil war pak suffered most humiliating defeat in history..by end of july 4000+ pak soldiers were killed & all peaks were taken back by india..you have lost each & every war so better accept it!dont cry everytime…


  • TUNG
    Oct 20, 2013 - 3:11AM

    atleast indians dont tell us how a movie should be made! the only thing good about their cinema is well item songs


  • Steve
    Oct 20, 2013 - 3:51AM

    I saw this film a full of entertainment and goal. I think there is no conspiracy in it and the actors and director of this film did a brilliant job. Keep it up.


  • khan of quetta
    Oct 20, 2013 - 11:40AM

    my grand father was one of the mujahideen i dont know i should laugh or cry from youre childish comment


  • Oct 20, 2013 - 2:17PM

    Well if it’s supported by ISPR, then Movies against Pakistan are being supported by RAW or Mosad?



  • kk
    Oct 20, 2013 - 2:18PM

    To all PAKIS,
    I am so happy that all PAKIS are happy about their film industry, as an Indian I am asking you to produce more propaganda films and also take back all PAKI artists from India…they have better future in Pakistan with more propaganda films..we are not able to kick them out….I hope if you improve your film industry,may be they will go home!!


  • salman
    Oct 20, 2013 - 5:04PM

    its good to see some color at our part of industry , if some movie which shows bad face of our society that is projected around the globe in that our media is leading and on the other hand if some movie is made which has atleast some grain of truth and has support for the men in khaki and may be it is able to stir some thought in the nation is being looked as some 1 has done a sin ……i ask wid respect opinion about bolly woods laksya , mission kashmir , DDay…..wht message thy give and wht abt saving private ryan , pearl harboour , fly boys ……i dont say that our media is foreign sponsered as i m not privy to such information however such critic may raisesome queries


  • Mujahid
    Oct 20, 2013 - 5:58PM

    @M. Emad:

    Wo wow! Where did that comment come from?
    A wayward argument to refute the debate at hand!
    This really shows how effectively WAAR has hit the western and Indian appeasers!

    Hats off to the local effort! Our bed-room qualified critics can beat their heads against the wall till it drops off!


  • Ahson Tariq
    Oct 20, 2013 - 5:59PM

    There’s a reason why these enemy-sponsored pseudo-intellects are calling WAAR a propaganda movie and Pakistan Army sponsored – there, i’ve said it.


  • S A Khan
    Oct 20, 2013 - 6:32PM

    Indians dont like reflection in the mirror and certainly not like taste of their own medicine! Well done to Pakistan industry coming up with Pakistan side of story.
    remind me if Mission Kashmir, Agent Vinod, and many more were not biased at all!
    and even it is, its a film which is not complete word of fiction but does have some reality to it. so take a chill pill and carry on!


  • Farrukh Ahmad
    Oct 20, 2013 - 7:38PM

    There is nothing wrong with being patriotic and supporting a national cause. This country is like a mother and we should do all that we can to protect and support her be it in a movie. Cinema is the biggest tool of propagation both negative and positive. Hollywood and Bollywood movies are full of anti Pakistan stuff but none of the above would have tweeted against that so for me Waar and its message are good and all of us should support it.


  • zia
    Oct 21, 2013 - 12:46AM

    The most fascinating thing about waar is ISPR support if they did. Why the tales of indian made scholars are burning?


  • Ash
    Oct 21, 2013 - 8:22PM

    My sympathies with u :(


  • Aftab
    Oct 21, 2013 - 9:49PM

    Bro… Ek Tha Tiger was a neutral movie…it showed both RAW and ISI in the same light. It was a pro peace move thats it


  • Zain
    Oct 22, 2013 - 12:31AM

    May I ask ISPR why millions of taxpayers money is used for a movie rather some other useful projects.


  • Faisal
    Oct 22, 2013 - 7:18PM

    First time in the film industry, I am seeing film critics questioning on propaganda movie that mush :), because Waar is Pakistani Movie and shows Pakistan prospective on war against terrorism. If it is an Hollywood and Bollywood no one talking about propaganda factor. This is interesting how much people can watch and listen Pakistani prospective… Shame on freedom of speak thingees … take film as a film not war.


  • usman
    Oct 22, 2013 - 10:03PM

    i dont care who promoted, who made and who sponsored but if such movies help nation moral to build i want them to be made every day, this what USA does showing same and even India as well, if ISPR sponsored it i must say guys GOOD JOB DONE and we need more, and who sitting in pakistan will never talk against their motherland and yes i personally know that many Indians are paid to comment against Pakistan on multiple newspaper comments column and even i caught them, if i leave true comments they dont publish but any comment against Pakistan is suddenly published without the mediator checking it so in here many using Pakistani names are actually Indians.
    i have not watch but will watch and do personal market of the film to west.


  • Danish
    Oct 23, 2013 - 7:03PM

    Watched waar yesterday loved the movie a very very good . Congrats to whole team of waar on a wonderful production which is a international standard movie.


  • aamir
    Oct 27, 2013 - 6:55PM

    @M. Emad:
    Just to keep the history correct. Pakistani regular forces in east pakistan were not more then 30,000 and without the support of air, navy. there was no armour unit. India opened the easten front on 21 Novemeber after waging 9 months of covert operations.
    Please come out of sarcasm. Even if you want to critisize something, don’t malign the facts.


  • Haris B Saif
    Oct 31, 2013 - 8:08AM

    Who first set the propaganda trend,media hype is more powerful tool in present warfare trend,WMD issue in Hollywood to Bollywood Ghadder,Border …….


  • pity u
    Nov 6, 2013 - 8:16PM

    how can a nation that hates itself ever progress?
    now go watch bolly patriotic flicks that are so far removed from reality
    and are not funded by RAW.
    Thank god I left this country of yours.


  • Wisemind
    Dec 11, 2013 - 8:10AM

    Why some people cannot stand a good movie by Pakistan?India & US has been making propaganda movies since agesss and NO One dares to speak about them? Why? Can some one please tell me. Leave Pakistan and Pakistani People alone!!!


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