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Salman-Katrina's Tiger Zinda Hai refused NOC for release in Pakistan


Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Yash Raj Films (YRF), the movie is about two spies — one Indian, the other Pakistani.

IANS

Hindi cinema's much-anticipated movie Tiger Zinda Hai has been refused a no-objection certificate (NOC) for import by Pakistan's ministry of information, broadcasting and national heritage.

The film starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif is the sequel to the thriller drama Ek Tha Tiger (2012), which too was not released in Pakistan.

Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) chairman Mobasher Hasan told The Express Tribune: "Tiger Zinda Hai has been refused an NOC citing the same reason as the first instalment of the franchise.

"The image of Pakistan and its law enforcement agencies has been compromised."

Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar and produced by Yash Raj Films (YRF), the movie is about two spies — one Indian and the other Pakistani. It is slated to be released in India on 22 December.

Sulaiman S Lalani, executive eirector, Geo TV Network, which was geared up to distribute the movie, is disheartened.

"Our preferred option was that Tiger Zinda Hai should have been allowed for import, presented to the censor board, and if any objectionable material was found against the interests of Pakistan / Islam, exhibition of the film shouldn't have been allowed then.

"In fact, if there was anything against the national interests of Pakistan in the film, we ourselves wouldn't have sought the exhibition, but this could have been done only after a preview of the film," Lalani told the IANS news agency on telephone from Karachi on Wednesday.

He said they were verbally advised that the ministry of information had decided not to issue the NOC for import of Tiger Zinda Hai with "no reasons assigned".

Lalani is expecting a written response from both parties on Thursday.

Given Salman Khan's fan following in Pakistan, there was a high interest level in the movie.

"Pakistan loves Salman Khan. Sultan was a mega blockbuster and minted approximately $3 million at the box office in Pakistan. His Bajrangi Bhaijaan was also loved by fans here," Lalani said.

Tiger Zinda Hai director Zafar told the IANS in an earlier interview that the film is largely a story about humanity.

"The film is a very human story... it is not political at all. The idea is that when there is a fight between right and wrong, what is at stake is humanity. And there is nothing bigger than humanity," he said.

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Censorship