A Pakistani court has banned Bollywood title Phantom for release in the country ahead of the film’s worldwide opening on August 28.
“I am feeling a bit odd as the film has been banned even before it reached the Censor Board”. Kabir, the production designer and I narrowed down Malerkotla because of its mosque, local people, narrow lanes and overall architecture, which creates the verisimilitude of a town from Pakistan. “This exclusively an anti-terrorism movie and is towards the masterminds of 26/eleven assault”, Kabir informed ANI.
Phantom stars Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif. The Jamat-ud-Dawah chief filed a plea in the court stating that the flim’s content has “venom against Pakistan and JuD”.
Hafiz Saeed’s spokesperson said, “This film was calling for an attack on Hafiz Saeed, and this was clearly terrorism on the part of India, to release such propaganda”. “…And if it is established that the film being imported is not against the ideology or interest of the country then it is allowed exhibition and granted certificate”.
Pakistan had banned Indian movies in 1968 but lifted this ban later. It’s (the film) not anti-Pakistan, but that’s okay.
The ban comes at a tense time for the adversarial South Asian neighbors, with an upcoming meeting between the Indian and Pakistani National Security Advisers clouded by Pakistan’s invitation to three separatist leaders from the long-disputed border region of Kashmir.
According to a court document, the government said it had received no request from the producer of “Phantom” to show the movie in Pakistan.
Is Pakistan an important market for Indian films? “It’s not important in terms of…it doesn’t dictate what kind of movies we make”, he shared.