There was some ‘mistaken rumbling about Pakistan unbanning Indian movies’:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4639216.stm. Sadly, that is not so. The govt. has replaced the ban with a new system though, of sweet talking the dictator till he allows your film. Since this requires a great deal of sweet talking, that means very few movies will make it across the border. On the bright side, perhaps Musharraf will now spend more time talking to ‘Aishwarya Rai’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aishwarya_Rai and less on going on and on and on about dams.
However, the people took matters in their own hands a long time ago, and stopped going to the cinema when Indian movies were banned. They buy/rent pirated DVD’s instead and everyone watches Indian films at home. Bollywood movies have more than 90% of the Pakistan market. Some things, like banning movies, are far beyond the reach of govt, even a dictatorship, so it’s just plain -sad- pathetic to see the govt. keep trying. Stalin did a bloody good job of baning stuff but even he failed at it.
The initial reason for banning Indian films was war. Pakistani soldiers were busy watching cinema so the govt. banned movies in an effort to get them to kill more people. It’s a good thing video games didn’t exist back then. Howver, times have changed, and now the official reason is that allowing Indian films will destroy Pakistani cinema. Govt. policies acheived that goal a long time ago, so no one really knows why the ban still exists. The old chestnuts about morality, ethics, hate for they neighbour, Islam, loss of advertising revenues etc. are all trotted out depending on the occasion. Every now and then the govt. issues various statements regarding Indian movies but those are ignored by all and sundry, including the govt. itself.
You know there are big problems when the ‘good general’:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervez_Musharraf has to be approached personally for simple things like playing a movie in a cinema:
bq. With the decks cleared for the release of ‘Sohni Mahiwal’ in Pakistan, all eyes are now on ‘Mughal-e-Azam’:http://www.google.com/search?q=Mughal-e-Azam. President Pervez Musharraf had spoken to Akbar Asif, son of filmmaker K Asif, after he said he wanted to release the coloured version in Pakistan and donate the earnings to charity.
Sources said that approval of ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ will come soon as Musharraf inspects the behind-the-scenes documentary of ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ to check for the use of satanic verses and black magic – which is commonly used to ensare young naive Pakistani viewers over to the dark side.
“I have no knowledge of any such decision,” Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said in response to all questions about Indian movies. That ably sums up the govt. view. on most things Indian.