After Padman, Pakistan has now banned Siddharth Malhotra’s upcoming release Aiyaary for showing corruption in the army and a negative portrayal of Pakistan. A source says, “Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI has refused to issue an NOC for the film.” Interestingly, Aiyaary had to get an NOC from the Indian Army too.
This is director Neeraj Pandey’s third film banned by Pakistan. His earlier films Baby and Naam Shabana also did not release there.
Just recently, Pakistan had refused an NOC and then cleared Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat which had a tough time getting a censor certificate.
Neeraj Pandey’s films per se have been a target in Pakistan as most of his films have been around patriotic themes.
“This time I had told my team to not even try for a Pakistan release. But then we had the luxury of time due to frequent postponement of the film.
We had strong queries (demand for the film) from Pakistan, but I knew that it will not get released there.”
Neeraj, whose film Special 26 released in Pakistan, but others like A Wednesday, Baby and even MS Dhoni did not release there, feels that many of films have a problem in Pakistan. “I don’t think I am a problem. It has to be the film. The theme (Aiyaary) is very patriotic and doesn’t cut well there. Even MS Dhoni was not allowed to be shown in Pakistan,” he says. Sushant Singh Rajput who played the role of Dhoni was shown to be visiting Pakistan for a cricket tour there.
It must be noted that in 2017, Pakistan banned six Hindi films including Tiger Zinda Hai, Tubelight and Raees. Meanwhile, Aiyaary releases in India on February 16.
— With inputs from Sanskriti Media