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August 22, 2017

Project Peshawar screened at Nishtar Hall


August 22, 2017

PESHAWAR:  The movie “Project Peshawar” was screened at Nishtar Hall here Sunday night, but many Pakhtuns have already expressed annoyance with its theme.

The keenly awaited movie is based on a baseless theme depicting the Pakhtuns as valueless people who can stoop low for money.

The movie is a project of Jeans Films and was screened by the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) on the pretext of promoting Pakhtun culture and historical sites of the province.

However, the 45-minute long film has no link with tourism or culture of the province. Its story revolved around the misuse of the social media by a girl to entice a foreigner to visit Peshawar, where goons are waiting for him. Immediately after reaching Peshawar, he is kidnapped for ransom and is subjected to severe torture.

Senior artistes and cultural critics questioned how the film would promote tourism and culture and why such a huge amount was spent on the screening of an anti-Pakhtun movie.

Critics said the film had nothing to do with the promotion of the Pakhtun culture. Rather, they felt it would deter foreign tourists from coming to Peshawar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Still the TCKP propagated through press releases that the film was promoting the tourist sites of the province.

However, after screening the movie the TCKP changed its stance, saying the purpose of screening of the film was just to promote new talent. It said the TCKP has nothing to do with the film.  

“The TCKP has nothing to do with the film Project Peshawar. It was the production of Jeans Films,” said an official of TCKP “We just provided an opportunity to the new talent,” he maintained.

On the stage during the screening of the movie, senior film artistes including Asif Khan were insulted. Asif Khan was invited and was present in the hall when the film-makers maligned and accused the Pashto filmmakers of producing ‘dirty’ movies.

“It is not a good omen to declare others’ work bad,” said Asif Khan.  

“They should not boast until they face the market and prove their mettle,” he argued.

He added that the senior artistes of the industry supported new talent and appreciated them if they produce quality films.

Asif Khan reminded that the Pashto filmmakers produced quality movies in the past despite the fact that in those days they did not have the high technology that is available now.

“We demand the TCKP and chief minister to probe why a movie depicting Pakhtun culture in a poor light was screened at the Nishtar Hall under the banner of TCKP,” said Javed Babar, a senior drama artiste. He said it should be explained how this film would promote our tourism and culture.

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