A media group in Pakistan has approached the information ministry for a NOC on the countrywide screening of Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood movie ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’.
According to media reports, if the Cinepex Media Group gets the No Objection Certificate (NOC) it will be the first time since 2019 that an Indian film will be released in Pakistani theaters.
In 2019, the then government placed a ban on Indian content in Pakistan after escalating tensions between the two countries over the Indian government’s revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union territories.
The ties between India and Pakistan nosedived after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution. India’s decision evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy.
India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is and shall forever” remain an integral part of the country.
Since the scrapping of the special status on August 5, there has been no Bollywood release in Pakistan and cineplexes have mostly tried to survive on the release of Hollywood and Pakistani movies.
A source said since the film is being globally distributed by Paramount Pictures, it is being imported into Pakistan by the Cinepax Media group.
Saad Baig, the General Manager of Cinepax Media Group, confirmed that they have asked for a NOC.
“Yes, we have asked for a NOC for the release of the film throughout Pakistan. We are hopeful we will get good news from the ministry,” he said.
Representatives of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and Sindh Board of Film Certification did not share any details, but sources in the information ministry said a NOC request is under consideration for the release of the film in Pakistan.
Another official said the ministry has already informed the Cinepex Media Group that no Indian film or any project produced in India will be released in the country.
‘Laal Singh Chaddha’, starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan in lead roles, is an adaptation of Tom Hanks' 1994 Hollywood movie ‘Forrest Gump’.