NEW DELHI: Hindi film star Anushka Sharma’s new film ‘Pari’ has been banned in Pakistan, as it “promotes black magic, some non-Islamic values and anti-Muslim sentiments”, reported The Express Tribune.
Pakistan’s censor board also banned the Hindi horror film because it “reportedly contains objectionable sequences where Quranic verses have been used”, said another Pakistani news outlet Geo TV, quoting a cinema owner.
“The film not only mixed Quranic verses with Hindu chants but also portrayed Muslims in a negative light as they were shown using Quranic verses to do black magic,” a source at Pakistan’s censor board, the Central Board of Film Certification, told Geo.
Further, the Pakistani censor board said the film seems to approve of black magic, which it said is un-Islamic.
“Pari’s script, dialogues and storyline go against our Islamic values. The concepts within Islam have different ideologies about magic. This film stimulates the viewers in favour of black magic and promotes thoughts that are contradictory to our religion,” a senior member of the board told the Tribune.
The Pakistan Film Distributors Association’s chairman, Chaudhry Ejaz Kamra, agreed with the country’s censor board’s decision.
“Any film that goes against our culture and Islamic history should be banned in Pakistan,” he said.
One theatre company Nueplex Cinemas posted on its Facebook page saying tickets already sold for the film could be refunded.
‘Pari’ is Sharma’s third production venture.
Last month, Pakistan banned Hindi film ‘Padman’ – a film on menstrual hygiene, which starred Akshay Kumar – as it dealt with a “taboo subject”.
“We can’t allow our film distributors to import films which are against our traditions and culture,” Federal Censor Board member Ishaq Ahmed said, reported PTI news agency.
“We can’t allow the screening of films on taboo subjects in our cinemas as it is not in our culture, society or even religion,” a member of thePunjab Film Censor Board said.
A Pakistani filmmaker, Syed Noor , told PTI that local film distributors and exhibitors must be educated about the films they import from other countries.
“Not only this film ‘Padman’ but I think even ‘Padmaavat’ should not have been released in Pakistan as it portrays Muslims in a very negative light,” said Noor.
Meanwhile, last week, India refused to withdraw a ban on Pakistani artists, ANI news agency reported. The Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association refused to withdraw its ban on Pakistani artists working in India. The ban was first imposed two years ago, before the release of Pakistani star Fawad Khan’s film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, and before the release of another Pakistani star, Mahira Khan’s Raees, in which she starred with Shah Rukh Khan.