Star-studded premiere for Mughal-e-Azam | Hindustan Times
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Star-studded premiere for Mughal-e-Azam

Son of legendary filmmaker K Asif has grand plans for ushering the 60s classic into Pakistan on Saturday.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 16:32 IST

It had a quiet release in Pakistan in April, when it pipped Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal to become the first Indian film to hit theatres in the neighbouring country.

After premiering Mughal-e-Azam at Lahore's Gulistan cinema on April 22, thus breaking a nearly five decade-long barrier to screening of Indian films in theatres in the neighbouring country, Akbar Asif, son of the legendary fimmaker K Asif has made grand preparations for ushering the 60s classic into Pakistan in a big way on Saturday.

So while the April premiere of the film, starring the late Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in the roles of Emperor Akbar, Prince Salim and his beloved Anarkali, was a low key affair, attended by select government officials and socialites, arrangements have been made for Mughal-e-Azam's premiere at a star-studded function in Pakistan.

Bollywood stars like Saif Ali Khan, Urmila Matondkar, Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea, Ayesha Takia, Neha Dhupia and Amrita Arora are likely to grace the event, even a charity dinner for the earthquake victims in Pakistan will also be held on the occasion, Akbar Asif said.

"The release of Mughal-e-Azam in Pakistan is a fulfilment of my father's dream. It is to ensure the fruition of the desire of my father, who wanted Mughal-e-Azam to be the first film to release across the border, that I went in for a low key release in April.

However, it was my wish that an epic like Mughal-e-Azam be released in Pakistan with fanfare," said.

In fact, London-based Akbar Asif had also planned a grandiose release for Mughal-e-Azam on June 2, including a hunt for a new Anarkali through a television over six months.

However, when it turned out later that Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal-An Eternal Love Story, which released in Pakistan on April 28, would eventually become the first Indian film to make it to Pakistani theatres, Akbar Asif dropped plans for a grandiose release as he wanted his film to be the first Indian cinematic venture to hit theatres in the neighbouring country.

The premiere of Mughal-e-Azam comes even as recent amendments by the Pakistani Government to its 1980 Film Rules Act have cleared the way for Pakistani filmmakers to operate with Indian actors.