India, Pakistan to boost cultural exchanges | india | Hindustan Times
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India, Pakistan to boost cultural exchanges

A Pakistani film fest is likely to be held in India this year as part of efforts by the two nations to promote tourism and cultural exchanges.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 11:44 IST
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A Pakistani film festival is likely to be held in India this year as part of efforts by the two countries to promote tourism and cultural exchanges, a foreign ministry official said on Friday.

In return, Pakistan will invite Indians to participate in a cultural and tourism festival later this year at Mohenjodaro, an archaeological site in Pakistan's Sindh province, the official said.

Mohenjodaro, the site of ancient Indus Valley civilization, was discovered in the 1920s.

The decisions are expected to be announced later on Friday at the conclusion of two-day talks between Indian and Pakistani officials.

India has been pushing for greater access for Indian films and television programs in Pakistan, where they are immensely popular.

Pakistan has so far resisted pressure to lift its ban on screening Indian films, although Bollywood movies are widely available on DVD and broadcast legally on satellite TV there.

There have also been exceptions to the film ban. Pakistani President Gen Pervez Musharraf recently allowed the showing of two Indian films -- Taj Mahal, a 17th-century love story set in the famous Mughal mausoleum of the same name, and the classic Mughal-e-Azam, or The Great Mughal.

Both were set in the centuries when Muslims ruled northern India.

India, which is overwhelmingly Hindu, and predominantly Muslim Pakistan have fought three wars since they won independence from Britain in 1947, including two conflicts over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, divided between them but claimed by both.

Tensions have eased considerably since the start of the peace process in January 2004.