The Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees, which released in January in India, was scheduled to release in Pakistan this week. But, it has been learned that Pakistan’s Censor Board on Monday refused to allow the release of the Shah Rukh Khan-Mahira Khan starrer Raees in Pakistani cinemas.
According to the reports, the ban has been imposed on Raees as the Censor Board thinks the content in the film undermines Islam and a specific religious sect. The report also suggested that the film also portrays Muslims as criminals, wanted persons and terrorists.
Satish Anand, a distributor of Bollywood films in Pakistan, said that there was a message from the Board banning exhibition of Raees in Pakistan and the reason given was the distortion of the true spirit of Islam. This kind of content in the film was objectionable for their territory.
Raees director Rahul Dholakia, on the other hand, was very shocked to hear the ban news. He said that he was yet to receive a letter from the Pakistani censor board, but he was shocked by the decision. The film has already released in several Muslim-dominated countries like the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, etc. He further added that the ban will only lead to rampant piracy since people across the border will definitely watch it.
Earlier, Raees was already in trouble owing to the troublesome relations between India and Pakistan after the Uri Attack. Due to this, the film’s lead actress Mahira Khan, who was making her Bollywood debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan, was not allowed to promote the film as Pakistani artists were banned in India.
It has been just a week since Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced to allow the release of Bollywood films in Pakistan after a committee headed by Minister of State for Information recommended that Indian films should be screened in local cinemas.