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Plea against Indian films' screening slammed in Pak

Lahore High Court judge Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed dismissed the petition by Movie Artists Association of Pakistan.
By Press Trust of India | None, Islamabad
PUBLISHED ON APR 27, 2006 06:59 PM IST

A Pakistani court has dismissed a petition calling for ban on screening of Indian movies as Bollywood film Taj Mahal was released in theatres across the country breaking a four-decade old freeze.

Lahore High Court judge Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed dismissed the petition by Movie Artists Association of Pakistan (MAAP) President and senior Pakistani actor Yousaf Khan, who had argued that screening of Indian films violated the law enforced in 1965.

He had also said Pakistani culture was different from the culture of India and that screening Indian movies would be "harmful for local culture and traditions."

Dismissing the MAAP plea, the court asked if there was any movie representing Pakistani culture and "whether the exhibition of Indian movies before 1965 had effected or damaged our ideology."

If Pakistan's ideology and culture were not affected by the exhibition of films from Hollywood and other countries, how would the Indian films cause any danger to the ideology and culture, the court asked.

It also held that government's decision to allow exhibition of Indian movies did not violate any legal jurisdiction.

"When all Indian movies were available in the country on DVDs and CDs, then why they should not be exhibited in cinemas?", the judge asked.

The judgement came even as stars Bolloywood and Lollywood stars converged in Lahore on Wednesday at the premiere of 'Taj Mahal' starring Sonia Jehan, the grand daughter of Pakistan's legendry singer Noorjahan.

Minister for Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni joined Indian stars like Kabir Bedi, Fardeen Khan, Manisha Koirala, Shatrughan Sinha and filmmaker Mahesh Bhutt as also Lollywood actors Reema and Meera.

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