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April 28,2016

Govt bans ‘Maalik’ for damaging politicians, inciting violence, racism

Hafiz Tahir Khalil & Obaid Abrar Khan

Questions raised on why pictures of Musharraf and Zia were not shown while Benazir’s were amid displays of crime incidents

ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan has banned Director Ashar Azeem’s debut movie ‘Maalik’ and a notification has also been issued in this regard. The movie was released on April 5 by the Censor Board after some members of the board objected to its contents while some official members said this showed what is going on in society and its should be released.

The decision was taken when the Censor Board and Ministry for Information and Broadcasting received a number of complaints against the movie that the image of politicians was shown very poorly and also a connection of political leaders with “mafias” as they were facilitating criminals. A scene of rape of a girl was also shown in this movie.

In this movie, while showing different scenes of crimes, a picture of Benazir Bhutto was also shown. Keeping in view all the complaints, Ministry for Information and Broadcasting declared that the four complaints were genuine that in this movie a message had given to the general public to take the law in their hands, a bad image of politicians was shown, a message was given to the general public to start violence and racism was also promoted in this movie, which were all against the laws of the Censor Board.

Earlier, the Sindh government had banned the screening of this movie throughout the province, but the decision was later rescinded after a few hours. Minister for Information and Broadcasting clamped a ban on the movie under the Picture Motion Act, Section-9, in which a certificate from the Censor Board to any movie could be cancelled on complaints from the general public.

Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman in his tweet said, “We believe in freedom of expression & therefore don’t encourage bans. However, perversion of Pakistani media and ethnic racism is condemnable.”

PTI Chairman Imran Khan condemned the ban on the film. During programmes on some TV channels, questions were raised of why pictures of Musharraf and Ziaul Haq were not shown in the film and why only politicians were blamed.


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