Shoaib Mansoor's much-awaited film Verna has reportedly been banned by the Central Board of Film Censors, according to industry insiders. The CBFC regulates film screenings in Islamabad and cantonment areas across the country.
However, while speaking to Images, CBFC Chairman Mobashir Hasan said that the fate of the film "has yet to be decided".
"As of now, the final decisions [about Verna] is yet to be taken as per Censorship of Film Rules 1980," he said.
According to Shoaib Mansoor's official press statement, the director has appealed to the CBFC "for the urgent relief of Verna." The film is expected to be reviewed by the full board today and the Verna team is hopeful for a decision in the film's favour.
After Khuda Ke Liye and Bol, Verna is Shoaib Mansoor's third feature film, in which he continues his exploration of Pakistan's social ills with a story of a rape survivor's quest for justice. The trailer suggests that the film implicates politicians and other influential people in the cover-up of the rape that occurs.
The film stars Mahira Khan, Haroon Shahid and Zarrar Khan in main roles.
As news spread of the reported ban, fans on Twitter started to express their displeasure:
Verna is scheduled to release this Friday.