After a temporary ban, Pakistani theater owners and exhibitors have reopened the gates to Bollywood movies. Last year, they had refused to screen Indian movies after Pakistani artistes and technicians were banned by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA). The association took the stand taking into account the cross border tension after the Uri attacks.
Recently, Pakistan lifted the ban on Indian films and began screening them in the country. The local exhibitors had requested to screen Aamir Khan’s Dangal, which is currently the highest grossing Indian movie.
Aamir Khan and the co-producers had given a green signal to release the movie in Pakistan but before a unreasonable demand came their way. The Pakistani censor board had asked to chop off two scenes, one with the Indian national flag and other with the national anthem.
An insider is quoted saying to Hindustan Times, “When the film went to the Pakistan censor board, they were fine with it except for two particular scenes towards the end – one in which the Indian flag is shown and another in which the Indian national anthem is played after Geeta Phogat (played by Fatima Sana Shaikh) wins the gold medal. The Pakistan censors wanted the scenes to be edited out before they gave Dangal the green signal.”
However, Aamir Khan, who is also the producer of the film, felt that their demand is unacceptable and has decided not to release the movie in Pakistan.
Dangal, released on December 23, shattered several box office records and minted nearly Rs 385 crore at the Indian box office. Even though the decision to not release the movie in Pakistan might result in about Rs 10-12 crore in loss, Aamir is reportedly not ready to edit out the scenes.