Like all good neighbours, we’d expect Pakistan to enjoy the sweet taste of our successful films but the country can’t help the cause much, with its very strict censorship code. As a country, it’s a sad state of affairs to see Pakistan dangling in the hopes of a good movie release, but with such radical Islamization, what can one expect? Unlike the world which enjoys Indian cinema and have appreciated its entry in best film festivals across the world, Pakistan is left to compromise with its strictly enforced rules (cinemas in Pakistan must equally share screening time between Indian and Pakistani films). Here’s a list of 15 Bollywood films which never saw the daylight in Pakistan:
1. Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Padman’
Bollywood’s take on menstrual hygiene, Pad Man, came under fire in the Islamic country because according to the Pakistani censor board, the subject matter was too ‘taboo’ for its Islamic culture.
2. Anushka Sharma starrer ‘Pari’
3. Salman Khan starrer ‘Tubelight’
Salman Khan fans didn’t see their favourite star’s movie release because of the high distribution rights. The huge price quoted for the film’s release in Pakistan forced the distributors to withdraw it and millions of fan of Salman were left in the dark.
4. Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’
Condemned for ‘demeaning content’, this super hit movie never got released in our neighbouring country. According to the Censor Chief, who refused the No-objection Certification for import into Pakistan, the film showed the country’s national security and law enforcement institutions and agencies in a conflicting manner.
5. Aamir Khan starrer ‘Dangal’
Aamir Khan won the hearts of millions of fans with his stellar performance in Dangal, but it was refused entry in Pakistan. But it was Aamir who refused to release his film there – because the Pakistani censor board demanded that two scenes involving the Indian flag and anthem be cut. Proud Indian, Aamir!
6. Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Jolly LLB 2’
The film which portrayed Akshay Kumar as the perfect lawyer, was banned because it had certain references of Kashmir issue and that was enough to raise eyebrows. This reference didn’t go down well with the Pakistani authorities.
7. Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Raees’
Shah Rukh Khan starred with Pakistani top actress Mahira Khan in Raees, but the fresh pair never expected Pakistan to ban their movie. The “objectionable” content in the movie, according to their authorities, was that it portrayed Muslims as wanted criminals and intolerant terrorists.
8. John Abraham starrer ‘Dishoom’
This film was banned because it showed an Indian cricketer getting kidnapped before a cricket match between India and Pakistan, and that caused such insecurity to the country, that it banned it from releasing. It’s just cinema, guys!
9. Fawad Khan starrer ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’
This film starred the most successful Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, and yet, didn’t release in his own country! It was objected due to the India-Pakistan border conflict (the Uri attacks). Indian distributors were left divided but couldn’t release the film there. This led to the subsequent IMPPA diktat of banning Pakistani artistes from working in India.
10. Sonam Kapoor starrer ‘Neerja’
Neerja was banned by Pakistan for allegedly showing the country in bad light. The main lead Sonam Kapoor, who portrayed slain flight attendant Neerja Bhanot in the movie, vehemently denied such claims. The film showcased several references to Indian intelligence agency RAW inside the movie, which left Pakistan fuming.
11. Taapsee Pannu starrer ‘Naam Shabana’
Pakistan banned this spy thriller a day after its release, because it portrayed the country in “bad taste”. After cinemas in Islamabad edited certain ‘objectionable’ parts and released it, the censor board of Pakistan later completely banned the screening of the movie upon its release.
12 Saif Ali Khan starrer ‘Phantom’
Pakistan court banned the Saif Ali-Katrina Kaif starrer on the ‘request’ of JuD chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed. He alleged that the film, set on post 26/11 attacks, contained “filthy propaganda” against him and his outfit. Why so guilty Mr Saeed?
13. Shahid Kapoor starrer ‘Haider’
Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kashmir-based political drama Haider was banned in Pakistan as it depicted Kashmir insurgency, a topic which is most sensitive between the countries. Starring Shahid Kapoor in a pivotal lead role, this movie was Bhardwaj’s adaptation of ‘Hamlet’ and was set around the Kashmir issue which was at its peak in 1995.
14. Farhan Akhtar starrer ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’
Even though the performance of Farhan Akhtar was appreciated by the audiences as the acclaimed athlete Mikha Singh, the film was banned in Pakistan. Farhan’s one dialogue in the film, which goes, “Mujhse nahi hoga. Main Pakistan nahi jaonga”, irked the Pakistani sentiments. Apparently, Farhan’s character Milkha is asked to go to Pakistan in the film and he refuses as Milkha’s family members were brutally killed during the 1947 riots.
15. Sonam Kapoor starrer ‘Raanjhanaa’
Pakistan banned the film because it portrayed an image of a Muslim girl (played by actress Sonam Kapoor) falling in love with a Hindu man and having an affair with him. This subject was enough to see the red signal from Pakistan.
Is there any other movie you remember which got banned? Tell us in the comments.