Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has asked television networks to refrain from promoting the Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger till it is cleared by the Central Board of Film Censors.
The reason cited by Pemra for such a directive is the negative reference to the ISI. The statement issued by the Sindh Chapter of Pemra said the film depicted activities of the intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan and the objective was to tarnish the image of the state institution.
However, from the order it is clear that the final decision on the fate of the film will be taken by the Censor Board which is yet to see this latest offering from Yash Raj Films due for worldwide release mid-August.
According to IMGC Global Entertainment (Pvt) Ltd. — the distributors of the film — the problem arose because of a teaser trailer that has been in circulation on the Internet. There is a reference in it to ISI and RAW, stating that their clandestine activities were responsible for the tense bilateral relationship.
The distributors plan to approach the Censor Board this week with the new theatrical trailer of the film in which there is no direct reference to either agency. “This film is a big one for us and we were planning to release it on at least 35 screens of the country. Salman Khan pulls the crowd and we are hopeful that the Censor Board will clear the film that could rake in Rs.10 crore here,” an IMGC spokesman told The Hindu.
Earlier this year, the Censor Board had banned the Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor starrer Agent Vinod; again the reason was uncharitable references to the ISI. That ban was ordered just days before the film’s release as a result of which many theatres had to reschedule their screenings.