Big B taken off Pakistan billboards
Authorities order removal of posters showing Bachchan in front of Pak flag.india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 03:14 IST
Authorities in Karachi have ordered the removal of billboards showing film star Amitabh Bachchan in front of Pakistan's flag to promote a telephone quiz contest opening on the country's independence day.
"We are not enemies of Mr Bachchan. But his picture on our national flag was an objectionable act and we ordered them to remove his picture from the flag," Mirza Asif Baig, a local government official said on Friday.
"This place is reserved only for our own heroes," he added.
Telefun, a private call-in entertainment company, had posted the giant billboards round the city to promote a call-in quiz contest along the lines of an Indian television version of the US quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire hosted by Bachchan.
The billboards said the show would be aired from August 14 -- the day Pakistan celebrates independence from Britain and partition from India.
Abdul Qadir, Telefun's marketing manager, said the company was complying with the authorities' directive.
"We have already started disassociating Bachchan's picture from the national flag," Qadir said. "It was a mistake."
Qadir said Telefun had used Bachchan's image because of the similar format of the quiz.
Bachchan is regarded as the most famous living Indian movie star and is popular on both sides of the border, although there is a long-standing ban on screening of Indian films in cinema halls in Pakistan.
Indian films are easily available, however, on pirated CDs and are also aired on cable television channels in Pakistan.