Three weeks after the Ashir Azeem directorial Maalik premiered at theatres across Pakistan, the federal information ministry has slapped a ban on the film.
According to a notification issued on Wednesday, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, and National Heritage declared the film ‘uncertified’ according to Section 9 of the Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979.
“The information ministry reserves the right to ban any film at any time. Maalik has been banned because it shows a former chief minister as a man of corruption and opulence,” a ministry official, requesting anonymity, told The media.
Talking to The media, Azeem said he was informed about the ban by his distributor. “Even I don’t know why the film has been banned,” he said.
Maalik distributor Mirza Saad Baig said this is the first time a film has been directly banned by the government.
“Previously movies were banned by censor boards only. This is a very tricky situation. It is up to the producers to decide what to do next,” he said.
Maalik banned again. This time by the Federal Govt. #BanMaalik pic.twitter.com/OYRabL6yBK
— Asher Azeem Gill (@ashirazeemgill) April 27, 2016
When asked about the reason behind the government’s decision, he added, “We have not been given any details as of yet.”
A Central Board of Film Certification official said the ban partially owes to a plethora of public complaints regarding the portrayal of different ethnicities in general and the country’s politicians, in particular.
The federal government banned Ashir Azeem's film Maalik nationwide.