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Indian film to be screened in Pakistan?

After 40 years, the Film Censor Board of Pakistan may finally allow Bollywood films to be screened in local cinemas.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 13:50 IST

After 40 years, will Pakistanis finally be able to see a Bollywood film on the big screen?

According to some media reports, Pakistan will allow an Indian film, "Sohni Mahiwal", to be screened but the censor board chief said a decision was still pending.

The Daily Times reported quoting sources in the culture ministry as saying that the Film Censor Board has passed the Indian film "Sohni Mahiwal" for screening in Pakistan.

However, Censor Board chairman Ziauddin Khattak said the film was yet to be passed by the board.

"A major part of the film has been produced by India," the chairman said, adding that there were 60 percent chances of the approval.

"Sohni Mahiwal", released in 1984, was a joint production between India and the then Soviet Union. Based on a popular Punjabi love legend, the film stars Indian actors Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhillon and was directed by Latif Faiziye and Umesh Mehra.

The movie was presented to the Film Censor Board three years ago and the case had been pending since, said the Daily Times report.

The ban on Indian movies, introduced after the 1965 India-Pakistan war, had badly hit sections of the Pakistani film industry. Cinema audiences had declined sharply as viewers turned to pirated video or DVD versions of Indian films.

The culture ministry had said last year that screening of Indian films would not be allowed until all unsettled issues with India were resolved.

In a recent statement, State Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani had said: "There is no question of screening Indian films in Pakistan until all political issues with India are settled, including the fundamental issue of Kashmir."

However, with growing ties between the two countries that have taken several steps to facilitate more people to people contacts, the lifting of the ban may well become a reality.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 13:49 IST