The cinema industry in Pakistan was dealt a huge blow when the Central Board of Film Censors – based in Islamabad – banned upcoming Bollywood film Pari for religious reasons. The horror film was being touted as the second big Bollywood release in Pakistan after Padmaavat but the ban ensures that it doesn’t get released in the country.
Speaking to Dhanak, Mobshir Hasan Chairman of CBFC said that there were scenes in the film that featured Hindu Mantars as well as Quranic verses to counter magic which is unacceptable to Muslims in Pakistan.
Surprisingly, the Censor Boards based in Karachi and Lahore found nothing objectionable in the film and it was passed with an Adult rating due to graphic violence.
The question that arises from this situation is – in what capacity is has the film been banned all over the country when only one of the three Censor authorities had issues. If Islamabad had problems, they should have banned the film in the capital city instead of the whole country but such is the sorry state of affairs in Pakistan that whatever Islamabad decides, applies over the whole country.
This is not the first film nor the last that Islamabad Censor folks banned due to their inability to rate a film. Last year they banned Naam Shabana after it was released and screened; they were the ones who stood against Shoaib Mansoor’s Verna for reasons that were beyond sanity. One hopes that the Government of Pakistan that is busy in ensuring that cinema becomes an industry in Pakistan notices these inconsistencies and takes action against them before Islamabad becomes famous as Banistan!