Govt ban on Ashir Azeem’s ‘Maalik’ raises eyebrows


The Federal Information Ministry on Wednesday slapped a countrywide ban on recently released film “Maalik” on the subject of militancy, projecting politicians in poor light and glorifying the military.

The federal government issued a notification to stop screening of the Urdu film, which was released about three weeks ago, declaring it “uncertified”.

The notification issued by the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage said that the federal government declares ‘Maalik’ as uncertified film in the whole of Pakistan “with immediate effect”.

The government has not given any reason for banning the film which was apparently backed by media wing of the armed forces – the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). However, military sources have denied that the ISPR has any links with the film made by director Ashir Azeem.

The film created controversy by showing excessive extremist violence and depicting some similarities with the killing of government officials.

The ban came a day after Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah stopped the screening of the movie but later revoked it after criticism.

‘Maalik’, a political-military thriller film shows the struggle of a man in Pakistan’s elite Special Forces whose life gets entangled with politics.

Extensive military hardware were used in the film including multiple helicopters MI-17 and MI-35 Gunships, T-55 Tanks and C-130 Hercules aircraft.

Some reports said that the military had provided extensive support including advanced weapons, ammunition and training to Maalik’s cast and crew.