Pakistan lifts ban on Bollywood movies due to alleged revenue loss
In a surprise move, Pakistani cinemas have lifted ban on Bollywood movies imposed after relations between New Delhi and Islamabad worsened following the tension along the border and string of terrorist attacks.
The cinemas will start screening Indian movies from Monday, leading Pakistani daily Dawn reported.
Pakistani artists were banned in India following an attack on an Army base in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir, where at least 19 soldiers were martyred.
Pakistani cinema owners on Saturday said they had only suspended the screening of Indian movies, but had not completely banned screening Bollywood content, Dawn online reported.
According to the cinema owners, the movies which could not be screened due to the suspension of Indian content, will be screened first.
“We lifted the suspension as a cinema guild. We took this decision to support them (Indian cinemas) and expect them to support us,” said a cinema owner.
The first movie to be screened will be actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s ‘Freaky Ali’.
The boycott came into effect after the Indian film fraternity as a whole decided to refrain from casting Pakistani actors in Bollywood films.
Some political parties had also opposed the casting of Pakistani artists in the wake of the rising tension between the two neighbouring countries.
According to an IANS report, Bollywood is popular in Pakistan, and the self-imposed suspension is reported to have led to a dramatic loss of revenue.
Having said that, there is no official figure to substantiate the exact loss faced by cinema owners.
Indian movies returned to Pakistani cinema houses in 2008 after a 43-year long hiatus after the ban was imposed during the 1965 war.