KARACHI: A notification was withheld by the provincial culture ministry on the intervention of the Sindh chief minister at the eleventh hour which proposed banning the screening of a political thriller in the province for being ‘biased against communities’ and defaming the chief minister, sources said on Tuesday.

They said the provincial home ministry had reported to Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah that the movie titled Maalik had shown certain communities in Karachi in a ‘derogatory manner’, which could stir unrest in the city, where peace was achieved with a huge effort by the police and Rangers.

Similarly, the culture ministry had submitted a similar report which said the movie showed specifically the ‘Sindh chief minister’ as corrupt and an embodiment of all evils, which was against the spirit of national harmony as it targeted specific politicians and parties.

Sources said the culture ministry had drafted a notification ordering a ban on the movie for being ‘biased’ and inciting violence.

However, before it was formally issued, CM Shah intervened and asked the ministry not to issue it as it would be ‘against the freedom of expression’.

Mr Shah, however, ordered the authorities concerned to raise that issue with the federal censor board and ask it why such a movie was allowed to be shown in theatres when it could offend individuals and communities.

“The government will take up the issue tomorrow,” said a source.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2016