An online petition has been initiated to demand Prime Minister Imran Khan to lift ban on screening of film Manto on the life of the legendary Urdu writer.
The open letter in the petition says: “Manto, a critically acclaimed film, directed by Nandita Das, celebrates the life of the Urdu writer who chose Pakistan as his home during the Partition but is collectively owned and revered by the people of the sub-continent.
“The audiences and critics worldwide have appreciated the film. However, it is a matter of huge concern that Pakistan has recently decided to ban the film. The disappointing decision to ban the film has created a hue and cry among writers, poets and intellectuals in the literary circles of Pakistan”.
It protests the ban and terms it an attack on freedom of expression. The letter appeals to the PM to order the authorities to lift the ban.
The petition initiated by journalist Saeed Ahmed has been signed by prominent personalities, including Manto’s daughters Nighat, Nusrat and Nuzhat, rights activists I.A. Rehman and Hussain Naqi, Salima Hashmi, Mirza Hamid Baig and Saleem Asmi.
Originally published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018