On 30th September, Pakistani cinema owners decided that they would stop showing Bollywood content in cinemas to show unity, after India banned various Pakistani actors and singers in India amidst the increasing political and military tensions between the neighbors.
However, the suspension has now been lifted by the cinema owners and they will resume the screening of Indian movies after the self-imposed ban that lasted a little over two months.
Speaking to the media outlets, Nadeem H. Mandviwalla, Chief Executive of Mandviwalla Entertainment said,
Our stance, even when we had taken this decision, we called it a suspension. And suspensions are always temporary. As the temporary period has passed, now we’re ending the ban. Now the screening process is going to be resumed.
“The message that we were trying to send to India has been conveyed,” he remarked.
The cinema owners emphasized that the relationships between Pakistan and India have not come to an end despite tense relations between both countries.
“The hostility and those feelings on both sides have also cooled down. Collectively, we have taken a decision…because we were the ones who stopped it, it is our job to bring it back to normalcy,” said Mandviwalla.
Observers are saying that the decision to reopen screening of Indian films was brought forward by the cinema owners because of the widespread losses and lack of shows that they were facing post-ban. The owners of cineplexes stated that their investment into upgrading their cinemas would be going to waste if the people don’t even bother watching movies.
Reactions to the re-opening and screening of Indian movies were mixed. Some citizens applauded the move, while others were furious at the move.
”Indian movies should be banned. Because our own cinema is quite good, but we do not promote it ourselves,” said a cinema goer.