Kashmir ten­sion: Pak­istan cin­e­mas ban In­dian films

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Ma­jor cin­e­mas in Pak­istan have banned In­dian films in what they call an act of sol­i­dar­ity with their coun­try’s armed forces. The film boy­cotts have been an­nounced in La­hore, Karachi and Is­lam­abad. The move fol­lows a rise in mil­i­tary ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries over the di­vided ter­ri­tory of Kashmir. On Thurs­day a group of In­dian film-mak­ers, the In­dian Mo­tion Pic­ture Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, banned Pak­istani ac­tors from work­ing in Bol­ly­wood.

At least one right-wing na­tion­al­ist politi­cian has or­dered Pak­istani ac­tors to get out of In­dia.

BBC South Asia Ed­i­tor Charles Hav­i­land says that is not the first time the poor state of In­dia-Pak­istan re­la­tions has had a cul­tural knock-on ef­fect. Our cor­re­spon­dent says that Bol­ly­wood movies are im­mensely pop­u­lar in Pak­istan, whose own movie in­dus­try, although en­joy­ing a re­vival, is much slim­mer. Big Pak­istani cin­ema chains and screens say they have taken a spon­ta­neous de­ci­sion not to show In­dian films for at least a cou­ple of weeks, or un­til what they call nor­mal­ity re­turns in re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries. They ad­mit their cin­e­mas may suf­fer fi­nan­cially be­cause of the pop­u­lar­ity of Bol­ly­wood movies in Pak­istan.

Con­fronta­tion

Dis­puted Kashmir has been a flash­point for decades and has sparked two wars.

Ear­lier on Fri­day, In­dian vil­lagers liv­ing close to the bor­der with Pak­istan fled their homes, the day af­ter In­dia said it had launched strikes tar­get­ing mil­i­tants in Kashmir.

In­dia said it con­ducted “sur­gi­cal strikes” along the de facto bor­der. Pak­istan de­nied that, say­ing two of its sol­diers died in cross-bor­der shelling.

Bol­ly­wood films fea­tur­ing the likes of Deepika Padukone are im­mensely pop­u­lar in Pak­istan.

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