Three weeks after the Ashir Azeem’s directorial ‘Maalik’ premiered at theatres across Pakistan, the federal information ministry and Sindh government has slapped a ban on the film. No reason has been specified in the notification released, but the film has been accused by some quarters of promoting ethnic racism and showing Pakistani politicians in bad light.
“The information ministry reserves the right to ban any film at any time. Maalik has been banned because it shows a former chief minister as a man of corruption and opulence,” a ministry official, requesting anonymity, told a local media.
Though many movies had faced ban earlier by censor board of Pakistan but this is the first time government has intervened in the matter. Pakistani government has directly banned Ashir Azeem’s latest release.
Local cinemas have cancelled the movie’s shows with immediate effect and are refunding the tickets following the ban.
In a series of tweets, Ashir Azeem condemn the ban on his movie,
“Giving my film a political /lingustics spin delibrate to divert attention from the real message of the film”
“I wrote MAALIK 12 year ago its my film invoving ISPR in this a delibrate attempt to divert focus from real issues”
“Suddenly cinemas Sindhi decide to take MAALIK off screen ? free will? ”
Lahore High Court on Monday issued notices to the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage and others for May 17, on two identical petitions challenging the ban on screening of film “Maalik”.
Justice Shams Mehmood Mirza issued notices on petitions filed by Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed and Munir Ahmad.
Earlier, the petitioners’ counsel submitted that after a few days of its premier, the federal ministry issued a notification, slapping a ban on exhibition of the film for which it was not empowered. After the 18th Amendment, such powers had been transferred to the provinces, he contended and pleaded the court to set aside the ban being illegal.
The court, after hearing initial arguments, issued notices to the respondents for May 17 and sought a reply
It may be mentioned that the court had already issued notices to the respondents on an identical petition earlier.
Written by : MIsbah lagharee