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Pakistani cinema owners lift ban on Indian movies, to start screening films from Dec 19

The Pakistani film exhibitors associated have decided to lift the self-imposed ban on the screening of Indian films on Monday.

The ban was put in place in the aftermath of the Uri attack that escalated tensions between the two neighbouring countries

The chairman of the Film Exhibitors Association, Zoraish Lashari confirmed that cinema owners in Pakistan would begin screening Indian films from December 19 onwards.

The association will lift the ban with the release of Sohail Khan’s directorial ‘Freaky Ali’ starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Arbaaz Khan, and Amy Jackson in pivotal roles.

“Cinema business has been hit immensely and all stakeholders felt it was the right time to begin screening Indian films. It was always a self-imposed suspension, not a ban. So I’ll be releasing Freaky Ali in our cinemas and other cinema owners will follow suit,” the Express Tribune quoted Lashari as saying.

Meanwhile, the owner of a film distributing company said the move would pave way for a big release by a private media group in the country.

“A big media group and film exhibitors/distributors in India are trying to release ‘Dangal’ in Pakistan. They are testing public sentiments and also the government’s reaction by releasing Freaky Ali at CineStar cinema,” he added.

He added that stakeholders in India were also being hit by the move to by the self-imposed ban.

“We will first test waters with these unreleased films and then begin negotiations with Indian distributors to continue the import of movies into Pakistan,” he said.

CineStar has already updated its cinema schedule to include ‘Pink’ and ‘Freaky Ali’ but a screening is yet to be held.

The self-imposed ban came after the attack on Quetta Police Training College attack which killed at least 61 security personnel.

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