Television

BJP against ban on Indian movies in Pakistan

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NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party is concerned over news reports from across the border that a Pakistani Court has imposed restrictions on screening of Indian Hindi films all across Pakistan.

This comes close after Pakistan electronic media regulator recently slapped fines worth Rs 10 million on 10 entertainment Pakistan channels for airing excessive Indian films and TV serials, but BJP Convener for Overseas  Affairs said Indian films have always strengthened bilateral relations between the two nations.

In a letter to the Pakistan High Commissioner, he said popular Bollywood movies promote cross-cultural friendship. Many Pakistanis watch Bollywood films since they understand Hindi due to its linguistic similarity to Urdu. Each year Indian Bollywood produces 900 films. ‘Your Lahore based Lollywood has always considered Mumbai Bollywood as its competitor. But a court petition by a known anti India Pakistan film producer Mubshir Lucman demanding that Indian movies completely shot in India and sponsored by an Indian cannot be screened in your country is “Retrogressive” and BJP is opposed to such demands and ban.’

In modern times Pakistani actors, gazal, qawwali and Sufi singers perform freely in India. Pakistan TV shows have been equally popular in India. But India never imposed a ban on Pak artistes. Though Pakistan had banned Hindi films release from year 1965 to 2008, but prominent Indian films like Tere Bin Laden, The Dirty Picture, David, Khiladi 786, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ek Tha Tiger, Agent Vinod and Chennai Express in recent times did not get the clearance from Pakistan Film Censor Board. BJP considers it to be a regrettable decision, Jolly said.

Bollywood movies in Pakistan has led to new Cineplexes coming up in major Pakistan cities like Islamabad, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore. “Pakistanis love Indian movies. These have brought Pak viewers back to your cinema halls. We understand that nearly eight million Pakistanis go to movies on a daily basis. Employment and business is generated.”

“But the new tax regime proposed by your government is the real stumbling block. The adjustable withholding tax levied on all foreign films and TV serials have given birth to ‘fake papers & black market’ film sector industry in your country. You ban the pirated film copies and we understand it. But the genuine film industry and the viewers should not suffer. We urge you to take this issue with the government of Pakistan and ensure a level playing field for Indian film industry in Pakistan entertainment sector”, he said.

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