'India is Pakistan's big brother when it comes to films'

Nilofer Bakhtiyar, chairman of the country's senate committee on tourism and culture, also said that filmmakers on both sides of the border have a great responsibility in ensuring that the region is not projected as a hot-bed for strife and conflict.

Bakhtiyar, who is leading a delegation of Pakistani filmmakers and officials to the South Asian Film Festival being held in Panaji, was speaking to reporters during an interaction.
“We consider India a big brother in this field (films). Indian cinema is extremely advanced and we want Indian filmmakers to work with us,” Bakhtiar said.

Cautioning filmmakers on both sides of the border to tone down jingoistic elements in their films, Bakhtiar said: “We don't need any more wars... our children need to grow up in a peaceful environment and we need to live as good neighbours,” she said.

She further said that Indian films which had jingoistic dialogues and content were appropriately censored in Pakistan before they were released to distributors. “All films coming from India are censored and all those portions are removed before they are shown in the cinema halls,” she said.

Bakhtiar also made a pitch for India to open its market for Pakistani films, especially those made in Punjabi language, which has a popular following on both sides of the border.
“We would like Pakistani films to be screened in India, especially our Punjabi (films). Our cinema is no competition to Indian cinema. But we would expect that if we have this exchange more frequently, it will pave the way for future friendship and peace in the region,” she said.

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