Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Raees’ banned in Pakistan

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Pakistan’s Censor Board on Monday refused to allow the release of Shah Rukh Khan-Mahira Khan starter “Raees” in Pakistani cinemas saying that the content undermined Islam and portrayed Muslims as criminals and terrorists.

Raees

Rumours about the Mahira Khan and Shah Rukh Khan starrer releasing in Pakistan were ripe for the past one week. However, according to reports, the Central Censor Board decided not to release the film in Pakistan.

Reportedly, the reason behind it was that “the content undermines Islam, and a specific religious sect, (It also) portrays Muslims as criminals, wanted persons and terrorists”.

The decision comes as a blow to Pakistani cinemas who were relishing profits after the government allowed resumption of Bollywood films in local cinemas which were suspended since October last year.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif allowed the release of bollywood films in Pakistan last week after a committee headed by Minister of State for Information recommended that Indian films should be screened in local cinemas.

Director of the “Raees”, Rahul Dholakia expressed his disappointment in the Pakistan censor board as he claimed that people across all communities are loving the film, as indicated by its box office collection both in India and overseas, including in Muslim-dominated countries like the UAE, Oman and Bahrain.

He took to Twitter and wrote: “#raeesbanned in Pakistan ??? Outraged !! Dumbfounded!!”

Last week, Hrithik Roshan and Yami Gautam starrer “Kaabil” became the first film to be screened in Pakistan this year after the country lifted a two-month long ban on import of Hindi films.

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After the Uri attack last September, the Indian Motion Pictures Association (IMPA) had banned Pakistani actors and technicians from working in the Indian film industry. As a form of retaliation, Pakistan had banned the screening of Indian films in the country.

However, after the ban was lifted last week, it was reported that “Kaabil”, Karan Johar’s romantic drama “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and “Raees” were scheduled to release in the country. Though “Kaabil” fared well in Pakistan after its release on 3 February, “Raees” was banned by the authorities on Sunday.