ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Indian James Bond can disarm a bomb while flying a helicopter, dodge bullets from deadly assassins and save his country from nuclear disaster. But getting into cinemas in neighboring Pakistan has proved to be an impossible feat.
Pakistan banned the Indian film "Agent Vinod" a few days before its scheduled release, likely because of its critical portrayal of the country's generals and spies. They are shown providing support for the Taliban in Afghanistan and scheming to set off a nuclear suitcase bomb in archenemy India's capital.
"It was our judgment that it should not be allowed to be screened, " the vice chairman of Pakistan's Film Censor Board, Muhammad Ashraf Gondal, told The Associated Press on Monday. "It falls under the negative codes of our censor."
He refused to provide further details.
The film, which was scheduled to open last week in Lahore and Karachi, likely hit too close to home because it echoes real criticism of Pakistan — admittedly, in the exaggerated style of India's popular Bollywood film industry.
Although Pakistan has never been accused of trying to detonate a nuclear weapon in India, it has sponsored Islamist militant groups who have carried out attacks in the country. It helped the Taliban seize power in Afghanistan in the 1990s to counter Indian influence, and many believe support for the group has continued despite Pakistan's denials.
Newly released Bollywood film 'Agent Vinod' is displayed top right, for sale at a video shop in Rawa …
"Agent Vinod is for Indians, but it is not against Pakistanis, " said the movie's lead actor and co-producer, Saif Ali Khan, in an interview with the Indo-Asian News Service. "But I understand if they get upset because we are beating them up quite often in the film."
Khan plays agent Vinod, dubbed "India's James Bond." He is a spy from India's Research and Analysis Wing, which has spent decades in a real-world cloak and dagger struggle with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI.
Pakistan and India were founded in 1947 following the breakup of the British empire. They have fought three major wars since then, two of them over the disputed territory of Kashmir.
The Indian film shows Pakistani officials encouraging terrorist attacks in India and financing Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group founded with the ISI's support in the 1990s focused on pressuring India to give up Kashmir.
"If you feel this is unreasonable or not true, then it is fair enough, " said Khan, the actor-producer. "I think it is all quite true."
A Pakistani boy shows CDs of Indian film Agent Vinod he bought from a store in Karachi, Pakistan on …
Lashkar-e-Taiba has been officially banned in Pakistan, but the government has done little to crack down on the group. It is blamed for the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai that killed 166 people.
Agent Vinod is certainly not the first Bollywood film to be prohibited in Pakistan. The government imposed a blanket ban on all Indian movies in 1965, following a bloody war between the two countries.
Pakistan lifted the measure in 2008 but has continued to block individual films. It banned an Indian comedy about Osama bin Laden in 2010, claiming it could spark terrorist attacks.
The impact of such censorship is limited. Indian films are popular in Pakistan, but there are relatively few movie theaters in the country. DVDs are a more common means of watching movies, and pirated copies are easily available at shops that specialize in them. Copies of Agent Vinod were already being sold in several Pakistani cities on Monday.
Huma Yusuf, a well-known Pakistani journalist, wrote a column in Dawn newspaper Monday saying Pakistan should support films and other forms of entertainment that explore controversial issues rather than seek to block them.
"They may be the only tools at the disposal of Pakistani society to stem the rising tide of hate, religious intolerance and ethnic differentiation, " said Yusuf.what does the bible say angels look like what are the love languages What tips do ineed to change the oil in a 94 ford ranger How much money do you need to retire comfortably? How to watch venom let there be carnage? what languages are spoken in india what time does mail come in my area How to remove lace tips How to do robert anne's veil tricks what does calorie deficit mean How to do awesome tricks on a mini bmx Why can i long into my tips training course when my computer passes the etips 2.0 system check Airpods pro replacement tips how to change what color eyes are babies born with How to do the worm How to get roblox? How to cut biys hair? Tips on not smoking when drinking How to change background on zoom Why do plants get brown tips on leaves How much do poker dealers make with tips How long for melatonin to work what does your thyroid control what is gm mean How to get super glue off hands Why your eyes play tricks on you red blue How to factory reset laptop what does swear mean what does 30 chance of rain mean what does niger mean what does kinetic mean How to install mods on minecraft? Mario kart u how to do tricks what level does cubone evolve what does panocha mean How to get ip address How to get rid of warts on finger tips Who has the bigger 2nd row seating for tricks what does it mean when a property is contingent what does two lines on a pregnancy test mean Honolulu tips when buying used car what to look out what does rosebud mean How to turn off pop up blocker? How to get preapproved for a mortgage what do cats meows mean if you dream about someone what does that mean what does git checkout do How to make cornbread dressing How to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation? How to relieve uti pain fast How to wash stuffed animals? Tips when buying a car How to remove soft gel tips How long does adderall take to kick in How to get ride of the annowing tool tips in wow What is a good way to handle tips for a restaurant owner How to make money with yoyo tricks Why can't i land tricks How to pierce your nose? what does a bowel obstruction feel like How to do tricks with feather cat toy Pathfinder d20 how many tricks can an animal learn How to screenshot iphone 11 How to recover google account? How to get a marriage license? How long do you cook beef tips in an electric pressure cookwr? Why do leprechauns play tricks How to fix stiff neck? How to say how are you in spanish? How to grow strawberries in pots? what does wry mean How does michael carbenaro do his tricks what kind of cheese does chipotle use How to increase girth size fast? what does annum mean How to say thank you in russian? How to remove dip and tips at home What are some tricks to teach my goldendoodle How to dye just the tips of short hair Local belize who gives travel tips How to do tips nails How to talk to lyft customer service How to get male tricks what does elegy mean what does low progesterone mean what does a broken rib feel like How many hat tricks has ronaldo what to do when unemployment benefits are exhausted in ny what does harness mean Tips when using rhe fairy oracle cards How do chiropractors know where to adjust what does the name gabriel mean How to do simple magic tricks with your hands what does it mean to gaslight How long does it take to get covid after exposure How to draw a cute cat what does affiant mean How to make a folder on mac? what does totalitarian mean How to drain dishwasher what does a metallic taste in your mouth mean what does multiply mean How many tricks in bridge what does courteous mean How to make focaccia? How to tan? what does dalliance mean what does ?? mean what does nsa stand for what does abstain mean Tips on how to not get diabetes when pre-diabetic How to stop eyes from watering? what do saggy pants mean what are the disney parks How to delete all photos from iphone Craigs list posting how to tips tricks what does subtle mean How to make fresh lemonade