30th September 2016: Major cinema houses in Pakistan have stopped screening Indian films to express solidarity with the armed forces in the wake of heightened tensions between the two countries following the surgical strikes by India on terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC).
Lahore’s Super Cinema, the country’s largest cinema house, first announced in a Facebook post that they would stop the screening of all Indian films in their theatre after which Karachi’s Nueplex Cinemas followed suit.
It also called on the government to ensure that sale of DVDs of all Indian films was stopped.
Nueplex and Atrium cinemas in Karachi have ceased the screening of Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Pink.
“To express solidarity with the Armed Forces of Pakistan, the Management of Nueplex Cinemas has decided to stop the screening of Indian films with immediate effect. We will keep our patrons informed of further developments in this matter,” Super Cinema wrote in a Facebook post late last night.
The message also said the protest would continue until Indo-Pak relations normalise and the Indian government offers a level-playing field to Pakistani films and complete protection to Pakistani artists. These cinemas are currently running Pakistani and Hollywood films.
Atrium cinemas’ website says that the management has decided against the screening of Indian films.
Nadeem Mandviwalla, a well-known film exhibitor, distributor and owner of the Atrium cinemas in Lahore and Karachi, said the boycott would be unanimous until the situation improved.
Saleem Khan at the famous Capri cinema in Karachi said they had stopped showing Indian films since Thursday night.
Pakistan’s film industry fears it may suffer a 70 per cent business loss if Indo-Pak ties worsen and Bollywood films are banned in the country. The fear among the industry people has been growing as they feel if the situation does not improve there would be calls to ban Indian films eventually.
The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association, at a meeting in Mumbai on Thursday, passed a resolution to ban Pakistani actors from the industry in the wake of the Uri terror attack.
The resolution came after Indian Army announced the ‘surgical strike.’
Last week, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navavirman Sena issued an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes and actors including Fawad Khan, who is part of one of the productions under Salman’s banner, and Ali Zafar, to leave India by September 25 or else they would be “pushed out.”
Recently, concerts of Pakistani singers Shafqat Amanat Ali and Atif Aslam scheduled in Bengaluru and Gurgaon respectively were also cancelled.