Several media outlets had earlier reported that the upcoming biopic on Indian limited-overs captain MS Dhoni was allegedly banned by concerned authorities in Pakistan due to the prevailing tense situation between the two neighbors. However, it seems that the movie titled MS Dhoni: The Untold Story has actually not been imported in the country yet for certification.
The Express Tribune reported the recent development with Chairperson of Central Board of Film Censors, Mobashir Hasan, confirming that the film has not been submitted for assessment purposes.
Hasan revealed, “How can we ban a film that’s not been submitted for certification? The local distributors have not even applied for the NoC of the film. We certify every film keeping Pakistan’s integrity, security and sovereignty in mind. As per our rules and regulations, we try our best to take every decision on merit.”
When asked about any instructions regarding the release of other Indian movies, he said, “So far nothing has been communicated to us. We are working as per normal routine. Only last week, we approved Banjo without suggesting a single cut, giving it a Universal rating.”
Following the gruesome attack on an Indian Army brigade headquarters in Uri close to the Line of Control by heavily armed militants, the situation between the two countries escalated. According to Indian authorities, there was a Pakistani hand behind the ambush.
As a consequence, they had retaliated with a surgical strike to take out suspected terror camps beyond the Pakistani border.
Sindh Board of Film Censors Secretary, Razzaq Khuhawar, claimed, “The Indian media is portraying it wrongly. We believe in competition as it helps improve the quality of Pakistani films as well. We haven’t been instructed to ban or censor films in the context of the hostile situation.
“We certified Banjo last week with a U rating but the audience didn’t like the film and it’s gradually being removed from screens. That’s the audience’s choice, not ours. We have not been directed to restrict any film.”
While Amitabh Bachchan‘s Pink is running successfully in Pakistan, IMGC Entertainment which holds the rights to bring Dhoni’s biopic has opted not to import it under these circumstances. IMGC’s media and marketing manager, Sabina Islam, admitted, “We wouldn’t want to release anything that can aggravate the current situation of the two countries. Dhoni is India’s hero so it’s risky.”
Directed by Neeraj Pandey, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story stars Sushant Singh Rajput in the titular role with the likes of Anupam Kher, Bhumika Chawla and Kiara Advani playing supporting roles. Apart from Hindi, the movie will also have a wide release simultaneously in Tamil, Telugu and Marathi across India as well as other overseas destinations this Friday.