Pakistan banning Indian films is not new. The association of film exhibitors has decided not to release Indian films in the country while the government has banned airing of advertisements made in India on television, said federal Information Fawad Chaudhry through a tweet on 26 February 2019.
The move came in reaction to Indian Air strike against Pakistan on Wednesday. Indian Air Force Jets bombed a training outfit of the terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan. The strike was seen as a response to an attack on Feb. 14 in Kashmir, which killed 44 Indian soldiers and for which JeM claimed responsibility.
Cinema Exhibitors Association has boycotted Indian content, no Indian Movie ll be released in Pakistan. Also have instructed PEMRA to act against Made in India Advertisements. #PakistanTayarHai https://t.co/9BPo6LIsVB
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) February 26, 2019
Even before Pakistan issued its ban, following the attack in Kashmir, Indian producers had already withdrawn their films from release in Pakistan. These included Fox Star Studios comedy Total Dhamaal, while local banner Maddock Films pulled the release of Luka Chuppi (slated to open March 1) and upcoming releases Arjun Patiala and Made in China.
The more interesting fact is that the film industry in the neighbouring nation did a business of Rs 55.8 crore at the box office in 2018. The insider, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes that the market is so small that people do not give much importance to it.
This is not the first time film relationships between the countries have been hit over political tensions. In 2016, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association issued a temporary ban on Pakistani talent from working in India. The move followed the deadly attack on an Indian army base that India alleged was the work of terrorists from Pakistan.
In return, Pakistan also banned the release of Indian films in the country.
Meanwhile, the All India Cine Workers Association issued a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi demanding a complete ban on the issuance of visas to members of the Pakistani film industry.
All India Cine Workers Assn in a letter to PM Modi in regards with Pakistan’s ban on release of Indian Movie or content in Pak:AICWA on behalf of entire film&media fraternity would demand complete shut down on issuing any Visa to Pakistani actors,Film Association&Media Fraternity pic.twitter.com/Yo5BJ07w5q
— ANI (@ANI) February 26, 2019
Now the question really is how does the ban impact the Indian film industry.
The February 14 attack on the CRPF convoy has changed the dynamics of militancy in the Kashmir Valley.
At least 44 CRPF jawans were killed and dozens injured in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on the 14th of February.
A 22-year-old Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar was identified as the suicide bomber who carried out the attack. Accused of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks the state has ever witnessed, Dar lived just 10 kilometres away from the attack spot in Gundibagh.
Pakistan has denied any involvement and warned India against linking it to the attack.
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