Though the ban on Indian/Bollywood films has been lifted in Pakistan, the Pakistan government has yet not given a green signal to renewing the import of Indian films. Pakistan’s movie theatres have therefore resumed the screening of Bollywood films, but only old films.
Censor chief Pahlaj Nihlani says Pakistan had no choice but to lift the ban. “Their movie theatres were going empty. Theatres showing Sindhi and Urdu films demanded Bollywood films. This is the peak season in movie theatres in Pakistan. Dangal, one of the biggest Indian films this year, is to release this week. So the ban was lifted to allow revenues to be generated through the movie business in Pakistan. But the Pakistan government is yet to clear the ban on the import of new Indian films. So in spite of the ban being lifted, only old films are being screened right now.”
The resumption of Bollywood screenings in Pakistan began with Freaky Ali and Pink. But the release of Dangal and other new Bollywood releases in Pakistan are still uncertain.
Says Nihalani, “Whether Pakistan resumes the import of our films or not, our ban on Pakistani artistes will continue until the time when relations between the two countries are normalized.”