Press Trust of india

Pak I&B minister promises help to Nandita Das amid 'Manto' ban

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Mumbai, Dec 16:  Pakistan's Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday assured his help to filmmaker Nandita Das in lifting the ban on her latest directorial "Manto" in the country.

Chaudhry took to Twitter to extend his help, saying he was trying to convince film importers to present a "less commercial film" like the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer.

"I am trying to pursue importers to bring this movie to Pak, I hope someone will definitely take risk of showing a less commercial film to the viewers," he said.

Das thanked the minister and replied, "Shukriya @fawadchaudhry #FreeSpeech."

The minister's statement came in response to Das' tweet on Saturday where she expressed her disappointment on the ban of the movie, a biopic on celebrated Urdu short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto who had migrated to Pakistan after Partition.

"Disappointed that Manto will not be seen in theatres in Pakistan. I was keen as he belongs to both countries equally. Viacom18 Motion Pictures Namrata Goyal," the director wrote.

Das also expressed her gratitude towards activists, writers and artistes from Pakistan who raised their voice protesting against the ban of her film "Manto" in the neighbouring country and appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan via an open letter.

"I am grateful to the activists, writers, artists, and concerned citizens in Pakistan, who have spontaneously come together and signed an open letter to their PM appealing..." she wrote.

The filmmaker also shared the link of the letter, which has been signed by 16 people including Manto's daughters Nighat, Nusrat and Nuzhat.

In October this year, the Pakistan Film Producers Association (PFPA) demanded a complete ban on the release of Indian films in the country.

Chaudhry Ejaz Kamran, a senior official in the PFPA, had said when Pakistani films are not screened in India, why should they screen Indian films in the country.

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