Punjab government stops release of film Javed Iqbal despite censor board approval: director
It's been a bumpy ride for Abu Aleeha's film Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer. The Ayesha Omar and Yasir Hussain-starrer, which is set for its countrywide premiere tomorrow (January 28) after several months of postponement, has had its release in Punjab halted by the Punjab government, according to the director.
The film is based on the investigation into Javed Iqbal, the serial killer who killed 100 young boys in Lahore and sent evidence of his crimes to the authorities and media in 1999. The film has been directed by Abu Aleeha who has written the screenplay of the film as well. It's been produced by Javed Ahmed Kakepoto.
Several social media platforms reported about Javed Iqbal's release being halted by the Punjab government, despite having clearance from all censor boards. The report was later confirmed by Abu Aleeha on Twitter. "The latest news is that [Chief Minister] Sardar Usman Buzdar's government has stopped the showing of Javed Iqbal. This unwarranted action comes after the censor board approved the film, which is why we will be [taking the matter] to the high court," he said.
Javed Iqbal was originally supposed to be released in October, but the premiere was pushed to December 24 because it was still being cleared by the censor boards. December proved to be unlucky as well — the film's release experienced yet another delay due to a rise in Covid-19 cases, according to Omar. The release date was rescheduled to January 28.
The film had its Karachi premiere at Nueplex CInema on January 25, attended by the cast and crew as well as other members of the entertainment fraternity.