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Pakistan restricts screening of Indian films during Eid holidays

The move is aimed at boosting the prospects of the local film industry during the festive period.

The release of Indian film Race 3 will have to be postponed following the notice.

Mayur Lookhar

Given the political tensions between between India and Pakistan, art and cinema often suffer. The Pakistani information and broadcasting ministry has issued a notice to all Pakistani distributors and exhibitors not to screen Indian films during the Eid holidays. The move is aimed at boosting the prospects of the local film industry during the festive period. The holy month of Ramadan is currently on and Eid will fall on 15 June. A copy of the notice has been circulated in various media reports.

"In order to revive and promote the local film industry in Pakistan, the Federal Government has decided to put a limited restriction on exhbition/screening of Indian films during the period around Eid-Utr-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. The restriction shall remain in force for two days before and two weeks after Eid days. All the importers/distributors of foreign films are requested to restrain from exhibition/screening of Indian films in cinema houses all over the country during the period mentioned above [sic]," the notice stated.

Notice by Pakistani information and broadcasting ministry

Speaking to Cinestaan.com, a spokesperson of a leading Pakistani film distribution house said, "We haven't received any notice as yet, but this decision has been taken keeping the interests of Pakistani films in mind durind this [Eid] period. It is not a ban, but just a temporary restriction on Indian films."

A few big films are lined up to be released in Pakistan in June. As per Pakistani online ticketing portal Cinepax, actress Mahira Khan's 7 Din Mohabbat; director Imran Malik's Azaadi, a film on the Kashmir freedom struggle; and actor Hamza Ali Abbasi's Parwaaz Hay Junoon are the Eid releases this year. Indian film Race 3, starring Salman Khan, too, was slated to be released during Eid, but its release will now have to be postponed.

Interestingly, there seems to be no restriction on Hollywood films. The big ticket Hollywood film Jurrasic World: Fallen Kingdom is set to be released on 22 June, a week after Eid-ul-Fitr.