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Bhushan Nagpal IANS
7/15/2004 12:00:00 AM

Download Mugal-E-Azam WallpapersA top Pakistani film producer has criticised the government for not clarifying its policy on screening Indian films in the country, maintaining such screening would make for "healthy competition".

Pakistan Film Producers Association (FPA) vice chairman Jamshed Zafar told IANS: "The government should clarify its policy so that we could know about it, as this inaction by the government is hampering our film productions."

Zafar said he believes that screening of Indian films in Pakistan will not affect the domestic showbiz industry. "I think there will be a healthy competition and maybe our industry will start to grow."

Only three Indian Hindi films, "Mughal-e-Azam" (coloured version), "Sohni Mahiwal" and "Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story", have been granted permission for screening in Pakistan after almost four decades.

The government of Pakistan has directly and indirectly linked lifting of the ban on screening Indian movies with the resolution of bilateral issues, including the Kashmir dispute.

Analysts believe that with improvement in bilateral relations, cooperation in film production and the appearance of Pakistani and Indian artistes in each other's films was a possibility.

Download Tajmahal WallpapersJamshed Zafar said that the government should not let people remain guessing on the issue of Indian movies. "They should take a concrete decision. If the government wants to screen films after the resolution of disputes then why in the first place are they considering screening Hindi movies. They should delay the decision until we resolve the issues," he argued.

The film producer indicated that Indian films will get a massive response from the viewers. "People here are mad about Indian movies and artistes. Viewing them on big screen is certainly an attraction".

Apart from the multi-religious alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, which is opposed to the screening of Indian films, Pakistani actress Meera has done a U-turn saying Indian movies should not be screened in her country.

Meera, who has starred in two Bollywood flicks and until recently was a staunch supporter of joint production of films between Pakistan and India, said: "India has a different culture, Indians have a different mindset and Indian movies should not be screened in Pakistan.

Download Nazar Wallpapers"We should produce our own movies. We are Muslims and we have to make films that depict our own culture," she said in an interview.

Asked why she was suddenly opposed to Indian films in Pakistan, the actress, who was under attack at home for her steamy scenes in some Indian movies, said what she had observed in India in the last year was convincing enough that Indian films should not be screened here.