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Govt. stops release of ‘Zindagi Tamasha’

The federal government has stopped the release of Sarmad Khoosat’s directorial Zindagi Tamasha across the country. The film was earlier slated for 24 Jan release.

The government has also approached the Council of Islamic Ideology for its views over the flick’s screening as the Zindagi Tamasha has now joined the club of controversial films in Pakistan.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, in a tweet, shared that the Central Board of Film Censors also notified the filmmakers not to release the film and decided to approach the Council of Islamic Ideology to deliberate over the matter.

As per the latest updates, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) will once again hold a board member meeting to review the film in which a representative of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and a representative of the ministry will also participate.

Though Sarmad Khoosat, has repeatedly insisted that “upon completion, the film was cleared by all three censor boards of Pakistan and had its world premiere at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival”, this news decision surfaced today.

Earlier on Tuesday, it came to light that the Sindh and Punjab governments had moved to block the film’s release in the respective provinces.

According to Tuesday’s notice issued by the Sindh Board of Film Censors (SBFC), the decision was taken in view of the potential for the film to create “unrest”.

“If the film is released for public exhibition, it may create unrest within the religious segment of the society and may deteriorate and be detrimental to the peaceful circumstances in the country,” read the SBFC notice.

The board has advised all cinema exhibitors and distributors to avoid the film’s exhibition “till further decision” by it.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government’s information department also notified the director Sarmad Khoosat today that his film will be re-examined “in the wake of persistent complaints received from different quarters”.

Khoosat has been requested to arrange a show in this regard “in any cinema house” on February 3, at 3 pm, so it may be reviewed, in the new notification.

Meanwhile, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has called off protests scheduled for Wednesday as the federal government announced it would approach the Council of Islamic Ideology for its views over Zindagi Tamasha.

Saman Siddiqui

Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.

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