While film exhibitors in Pakistan were quick to reciprocate the ban of Pakistani artistes in India with a ban on Bollywood films on Pakistani cinema screens, actor/producer Humayun Saeed has criticised the move as a decision made in haste, reports BBC URDU.
"Pakistani cinema needs Indian films at present. Locally produced films alone can't sustain our cinema. Cinemas need a new film every week and Pakistan doesn't produce that many," reasoned the Jawani Phir Nahi Ani star.
He appealed to film exhibitors to "maintain their composure" and "not follow in India's footsteps", especially given the fact that "we believe that India's ban on Pakistani artistes was wrong."
Further clarifying his point of view, Humayun said that he has never opposed the screening of Bollywood films in Pakistan, and has merely asked for the holiday dates of Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Azha to be reserved for local films. "There should be no limitation on Bollywood films for the rest of the year," he said.
On September 30, the management of Pakistani cinemas such as Lahore's Super Cinemas and Karachi's Nueplex and Atrium cinemas announced their decision to indefinitely cease the screening of all Indian films as a protest against the ban of Pakistani artists in India and to show solidarity with the armed forces of Pakistan.
Some cinemas are filling the gaps in their movie schedule with screenings of earlier released Pakistani films like Bachaana, Bin Roye and Maalik.