Pakistan: Action movie banned by Ministry of Information


The action movie ‘Maalik’ has been banned in Pakistan after already having been playing in cinemas for weeks. In social media, the ban has led to a classic ‘freedom of expression’ versus ‘state control’ debate, reported The Express Tribune on 28 April 2016.

The chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Mobashir Hasan, told the newspaper that the ban was a result of public complaints which the board had received from all over Pakistan.

The film’s director, Asher Azeem Gill, however, has accused the government of censorship and “political and linguistic spin.”

Public complaints
“People were threatening to burn down cinemas and other public properties, so we proposed the information ministry to de-certify the film to avoid a major catastrophe and a law-and-order situation,” the CBFC chair told The Express Tribune.

The CBFC had compiled a situation report based on all of the complaints it had received and sent it to the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage. As per Section 9 of the 1979 Film Ordinance, any certified film can be de-certified upon receiving public complaints, even if it is currently running in the cinemas.

Chief minister portrayed as corrupt
BBC Urdu and the British news media The Week reported that ‘Maalik’ was banned by the government because it showed politicians in a negative light. “An unnamed ministry official [said] the film had been banned because it shows a former chief minister as a man of corruption and opulence,” BBC Urdu wrote.

Photo above: Poster for ‘Maalik’, scene from the film (publicity photo).


» The Week – 29 April 2016:
Maalik movie ban sparks cries of censorship in Pakistan

» The Express Tribune – 28 April 2016:
Threats to burn down cinemas led to ‘Maalik’ ban

» BBC Asia – 28 April 2016:
Maalik movie: What the Pakistan government ban tells us

» Wikipedia – the open encyclopedia:
Maalik (2016 film)

Read more

» – 14 October 2015:
Pakistan: Increased censorship of Pakistani films

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