PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Thursday offered to permit the screening of recently banned film 'Maalik' in the province but the federal censor board hit back with a warning promising strict action against cinemas violating the Motion Pictures Ordinance 1979.
KP Information Adviser Mushtaq Ghani feels the film should be shown in the entire country.
"The filmmaker has made an effort to address corruption but the government has taken action against it and banned it. We have zero-tolerance for corruption here," he said, adding that after 18th amendment, censorship falls under the provinces.
"The government is against corruption, that's why KP has no objection to the film. If the producer comes to KP and asks to show the film in cinemas, we will facilitate them," Ghani told DawnNews.
Federal censor board chairman Mubashir Khan, however, pointed out that almost all cinemas in KP are located in cantonment areas, thereby falling under the Motion Picture Ordinance 1979. He said that strict action would be taken under the ordinance against cinemas that screened the banned film.
Khan said the film was banned to avoid a law and order situation in the country following public complaints.
The federal government banned the film nationwide in a notification issued Wednesday, declaring the Urdu feature film "uncertified" according to Section 9 of the Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979.
The film, released three weeks ago, had generated complaints regarding its controversial depiction of the Taliban and parallels with the assassination of a prominent government official by his personal security guard.
In a blink-and-you'll miss it move last night, the Sindh government decided to ban the film Maalik and then revoked that notice all in the space of a few hours.
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, the Sindh chief minister intervened and asked the ministry not to issue it as it would be ‘against the freedom of expression’.
The film team had assured the Sindh government objectionable scenes would be cut, but the film's certification was revoked as it wasn't done.