Pakistan: Government bans film at home and abroad

pakistan maalik movie
Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce has banned the export of political thriller ‘Maalik’ at the request of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, which had already banned the film in May 2016 from being shown in Pakistan, meaning the film will also not be allowed to be shown abroad, reported Pakistan Today on 11 August 2016.

“I was relying on the court’s decision, but they keep delaying it, and now Maalik’s export has been banned. I’m helpless,” film director Ashir Azeem told the newspaper. “I am surprised this is happening. Why am I being targeted alone? This has never happened with any other Pakistani film in our history.”

Previously, in July 2016, producers of the film announced the film would be released on 26 August 2016 in Australia, Canada, the Middle East, US and UK, as the national ban on the film was still being fought in the courts. At that time, Azeem told The Express Tribune that he would step back from directing due to the controversy.

“I am going on a break. I don’t want more trouble with the authorities,” he told the newspaper on 8 July 2016. “I need some personal time to think things through and plan for the future.”

‘Maalik’ was released in Pakistan in April 2016 and stayed on screen for three weeks before being taken down. The government’s stance is that the movie portrays politicians in a negative light, especially the character of a former chief minister who is portrayed as corrupt and wealthy.


» The Express Tribune – 11 August 2016:
Maalik barred from screening worldwide

» The Express Tribune – 11 August 2016:
Why am I being targeted alone: Aashir Azeem

» Pakistan Today – 11 August 2016:
Maalik: Ashir Azeem’s action thriller barred from screening worldwide

» The News – 10 August 2016:
Export of movie ‘Maalik’ banned

» The Express Tribune – 8 July 2016:
Following ‘Maalik’ ban, Ashir Azeem takes a break

» The Express Tribune – 4 July 2016:
Maalik to be released internationally in spite of Pakistan ban

» Daily Times – 14 June 2016:
LHC directs govt, censor board for explanation

» The Express Tribune – 3 June 2016:
Controversial flick: LHC reserves verdict on film ban

» Daily Times – 20 May 2016:
LHC gives more time to govt for filing reply on banned film ‘Maalik’

More from Freemuse

» 3 May 2016: Pakistan: Action movie banned by Ministry of Information

» 5 April 2016: Pakistan: Punjabi film banned

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

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