Pakistani film cinema owners are now all set to end a self-imposed ban on screening Indian films in the country from Monday. The ban was put after tensions between India and Pakistan following the Uri terror attacks. And the first movie to be screened, is going to be Aamir Khan’s ‘Dangal‘.
Zoraish Lashari, Chairman of the Film Exhibitors Association, said that the screening of Indian films will resume from December 19. “The cinema owners and other stakeholders in the industry have been hit by the decision to impose a temporary suspension on screening of Indian films. A lot of investment has been made into upgrading or building new cineplexes and multiplexes and the business at this time is dependent on screening of latest Indian films,” he said.
Lashari also claimed that the cinema owners and exhibitors had not banned Indian films but only put a self-imposed suspension considering the situation between the two countries. The decision was taken after Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) announced a ban on Pakistani artistes and technicians working in India.
“In recent weeks several Indian films have been released while everyone is eagerly anticipating the release of Aamir Khan‘s ‘Dangal’,” a source said.
“A private media group is presently trying to import and release ‘Dangal’ in Pakistan,” the source added.
The ban on screening of Indian films in Pakistani cinemas was apparently damaging the economy and Pakistani cinema houses were losing money because of of it. “Political concerns are indeed genuine, but they should not come at the cost of cultural exchanges that bring benefits to both sides of the border,” said an editorial of a popular Pakistani newspaper.
Pakistan is considered as the third largest market for Indian films.