WEB DESK: A decision regarding the screening of the movies that star the Pakistani artistes is finally out. It is a no-no from the cinema owners to screen the movies like Raees and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in cinemas.
The decision comes amid India-Pakistan tensions. “We can’t say we are banning these films. It’s just that we are suspending all these films,” said Datar.
“In future, if our (India’s) relationship with Pakistan gets better, we will work towards it. But looking at the current scenario, we have to take this decision,” he added.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had earlier warned Pakistani actors to quit India and said it would not let movies — including Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees — to release.
In a circular issued Friday, COEAI said, “Keeping in mind the patriotic feeling and national interest, we request all our member-exhibitors from (withholding) screening (of) any movie that has involvement of Pakistani artistes, technicians, etc.”
Pakistani actor Fawad Khan plays a key role in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The ban is reportedly applicable to single-screen theatres that are part of Mumbai territory, which includes, besides Maharashtra, parts of Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka.
While the scope of the ban remains uncertain as of now, as other industry bodies are yet to come to a decision, COEAI stated, “We are in the process of requesting other associations connected with film industry to support these sentiments.”
Welcoming COEAI’s decision, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar on Friday stated in a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, “The government should not give them (Pakistani artistes) visa and work permit when there is no work (here).”
The Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA), which had issued a circular on September 30 “unanimously appealing” to all producers to not hire Pakistani actors and technicians, has criticised COEAI’s decision.
“Keeping the interest of producers in mind, IMPPA had spared completed projects like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees, and issued the restriction on employing Pakistani artistes in future projects,” IMPPA president T P Aggarwal said.