Pakistani lawmakers have complained that Indian films have "flooded" the local markets and are "corrupting the minds of the younger generation" but the government has said that the country's film culture would die if it barred the screening of Bollywood productions.
The parliamentarians raised the issue in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament on Wednesday and told the Speaker that the government should take steps to address their concerns.
"Children are now incorporating Indian words and terminologies in normal conversation," complained lawmaker Tahira Aurangzeb of the main opposition PML-N party.
She asked culture minister Pir Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani if Pakistani films too were being screened in a big way in Indian markets.
The lawmakers also objected to illegally imported foreign films "overflowing" the Pakistani markets.
Jilani, who belongs to the ruling Pakistan People's Party, admitted that Pakistani films did not enjoy the same liking in Indian markets.
"The gesture is not reciprocated," he said.
"But if foreign films and especially Indian movies are discontinued, the struggling cinema culture will completely die.
The idea is to keep the cinema houses going, that would otherwise have been turned into marriage halls and other business ventures," Jilani said.
The screening of foreign films and an increase in cinema halls will trigger competition and encourage local producers to make better movies, he argued.
"We realise that illegally imported films have flooded markets and are damaging Pakistan's local productions but that is the subject of the Ministry of Information," Jilani said.
Responding to a question, he said his ministry had no role to play in helping Pakistani artists in working with foreign filmmakers.