Pak hopes for good box office amid ban on Indian films

Three of the Pakistani films feature big names like Mahira Khan, Maya Ali, Bilal Ashraf, Sheheryar Munawwar and Hareem Farooq. (File photo)

Pakistani films will have free run during the long Eid-ul-Azha holidays from Monday with a blanket ban in place for the screening of Indian films in the country.

With four high profile and heavy budget, Pakistan films lined up for release along with some Punjabi and four Pashtun language films, cineplexes and single screen cinemas in the country are giving them prime slots.

"We are hoping the Urdu films like 'Paray Hut Love', 'Superstar', 'Heer Maan Ja' with a good star cast do well, as the business has been very slow since the ban on Indian films was imposed back in February after the tensions on the Line of Control," the manager of a cineplex theatre told PTI.

Federal Minister for Information, Firdaus Ashiq Awan made a gaffe recently when she told the media that the government was imposing a ban on screening of Indian films after the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir although the same has been in place in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.

Cineplexes and cinema owners have been complaining about the low business as Indian films were a big earner for them.

"The good thing is that this Eid there are a couple of high profile Hollywood films and the Pakistani films, which are also multi-starrers. Their trailers have garnered a good response," Nadeem Mandivwala, a film distributor and exhibitor said.

Three of the Pakistani films feature big names like Mahira Khan, Maya Ali, Bilal Ashraf, Sheheryar Munawwar and Hareem Farooq.

The government in the last few days has also started strictly imposing a ban on Indian content on television channels and cable operators have been warned by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority of heavy fines and cancellation of licenses if they try to defy the ban.

As a result, private entertainment channels like Geo, Ary and Hum to name a few are only showing Pakistani films during the Eid holidays. 

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