Bollywood’s Raees was expected to release today across Pakistan i.e. 5th February 2017 , which coincidentally is also the Kashmir Solidarity Day.
As per the due process the film was imported last week after receiving Non Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Commerce. After the import the film is presented before the three functional film certification boards to get the screening certificate.
Sindh Board for Film Certification (SBFC), covers the whole province of Sindh apart from cantonment areas.
Punjab Board for Film Certification (PBFC) covers the whole province of Punjab apart from cantonment areas
Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) covers the provinces of KPK and Balochistan, Federal Capital Islamabad, Federal territories of Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit Balistan & FATA as well as the cantonment areas of Punjab and Sindh
The film is cleared for screening by PBFC and SBFC and thus its release date was advertised in the press as today.
However it faced a last minute blockade from the CBFC which has reservations over the few scenes and content of the film. As per the press report the film shows the story of a Gujarati Muslim bootlegger and it has raised few eye brows within CBFC.
Unable to reach a decision CBFC has referred the film to full board meeting which will held in this week to decide the fate of the film. CBFC has also ordered the PBFC and SBFC to put on-hold the screening certificate till the film is cleared by the full board.
Historically any film referred to full board seldom sees the light of the day. Normally the full board asks the Ministry of Information for advice which mostly refuses the right of screening. Sometimes the full board asks to re shoot few scenes of the film which in case of a Bollywood film is not an option and thus uncertainty looms over the screening of Raees for the time being.
Before Raees two other Bollywood films (Kaabil, Ae Dil Hai Mushil) are released on 3rd February 2016 after the three month ban on the screening of the films is removed. However so far the box office report of both these films is below expectations and thus film exhibitors are eagerly awaiting the release of Raees , hoping it will revive the deserted cinema houses.
Famous fashion journalist Aamna Haider Isani has also tweeted on this decision of the censor board
Here is the source news excerpt from Urdu Ddaily Dunya
Rashid Nazir Ali