film trade

Pakistan bans Sonam Kapoor's 'Neerja' for showing 'Muslims in bad light'

Neerja-Sonam A still from the film 'Neerja'

Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor's much-awaited film Neerja has been banned in Pakistan as the country has accused the film of showing 'Muslims in bad light.'

Well, Pakistan has recently banned several Indian movies recently owing to different reasons after they were reviewed by the members of the censor board. However, Neerja was not even given that courtesy. The film has been banned without even being sent to censor board for opinion.

The ban was imposed on the film due to the objectionable content, said commerce ministry according to reports.

“There were certain anti-Pakistan elements in Neerja and it showed Muslims in negative light. This might not have gone down well with local audiences,” said IMGC Executive Director Abid Rasheed.

Advertisements of the movie in some newspapers had shown its release across many cineplexes and single screen theatres in Pakistan on February 19 but it has emerged that the ministry of commerce had initially authorized the import of the film but later changed their decision.

“The ministry issued us a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to import the film and bring it to Pakistani territory but later on revoked the NOC,” an official with IMGC Entertainment said.

Neerja is based on true events that unfolded during the hijacking of the Pan Am Flight 73 at the Karachi airport in 1986. The film's lead role is inspired by Neerja Bhanot, a flight attendant, who scarified her life while trying to save lives of other passengers during the flight highjacking.

Sonam plays Neerja in the film and is directed by Ram Madhvani. The film will hit big screens on February 19 worldwide.

Pakistan had earlier banned big banner Indian films like Haider, Phantom and Ek Tha Tiger.

Indian films have done well in Pakistan since a ban on their screening was lifted during the tenure of former military dictator and President Pervez Musharraf.

Bollywood movies are generally credited for the film business booming again in the country and also leading to a revival of the Pakistani film industry.

(With inputs from PTI)

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