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Pak opens doors to Indian actors

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Thursday, June 22, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): After allowing relase of Indian films like K Asif's 60s classic Mughal-e-Azam and Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal in its cinema halls, Pakistan has now thrown open its doors to Indian actors.

Recent amendments by the Pakistani Government to its 1980 Film Rules Act have cleared the way for Pakistani filmmakers to operate with Indian actors.

As per four amendments made to the 1980 Film Rules Act on June 5 by the Pakistan Ministry of Culture, the 'notorious' Paragraph 5, a major obstacle for Pakistani filmmakers wanting to hire Indian actors, has been deleted, thus paving way for Indian actors to cross the border to work in films in the neighbouring country.

Paragraph 5 is clause five in a document called Form B, which Pakistani filmmakers had to submit whenever they approached the censor board for clearance with their productions.

This clause was a legislative order, which stopped filmmakers from proceeding towards Indian frontiers with possible ventures for the industry, chairman of the Pakistan Film Producers Association (PFPA) Saeed Rizvi said.

According to 'Daily times' in Pakistan, the recent notification by the Pakistani Ministry of Culture, stated that ''in Form B, Paragraph 5 shall be omitted''.

''Basically it stopped us from taking in Indian actors. It was introduced along with the Censorship of Film Rules 1980 and it mentioned: "that the film has neither been wholly or partially exposed in any Pakistani or Indian language depicting Pakistani or Indian way of living now leading roles have been played by Pakistani or Indian artistes'. This was very confusing for filmmakers because it not only stopped us from hiring Indian actors, it also stopped us from including Pakistani actors for our movies. We were very perturbed by this clause. But now the government has repealed it, and we are more than happy,'' he said.

The deleting of the paragraph 5 is a part of the four amendments affected by the government to Rule 10 in the Censorship of Film Rules 1980.

''This is an excellent series of announcements by the government.

They have opened the doors for us to work with Indian stars. We have always wanted to cast them in our movies, but we couldn't because of the notorious Paragraph 5,''Mr Rizvi he said.

The Pakistan government's decision has been welcomed by Indian filmmakers.

Lauding the move by the Pakistan Government, Mr Akbar Asif, son of the late K Asif who pioneered the entry of Indian films in Pakistan by obtaining clearance from Pakistan President Musharraf for release of Mughal-e-Azam in cinema halls in the neighbouring country, said,''I am happy that Pakistan Government has opened doors for Indian actors to work in films in the neighbouring country.'' ''The move will help carry forward the process of building of cultural bridges between India and Pakistan, which I had begun by securing the release of Mughal-e-Azam in Pakistan as the first film to be theatrically released in the neighbouring country last month,'' Akbar Asif said.

''For me, it also marks the fulfilment of my father's dream to bring the two countries closer in a deep bond of friendship,'' he said.

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