House full for Naseeruddin film in Pakistan theatre


Lahore : Tickets for a Pakistani film starring Indian thespian Naseeruddin Shah and US actors were completely sold out at a new cinema hall here even as its release Friday was sought to be blocked through a petition before the Lahore High Court.

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"Khuda Ke Liye" is paired with Hollywood blockbuster "Die Hard 4" at the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), which was recently converted into a cinema hall.

DHA secretary Col. Aamir Ayub told Daily Times that everyone who wanted to go to the cinema would have to go through a security clearance process, whether they were locals or foreigners.

The movie's release was challenged by a lawyer who says it would "add film to the fire" in the wake of suicide attacks and the current protests against the government.

Senior lawyer M.D. Tahir Wednesday challenged the release of "Khuda Ke Liye" in the Lahore High Court, saying it was "against Islamic values and was an attempt at disturbing law and order in Pakistan".

The character of a Muslim scholar played by Naseeruddin Shah is particularly cited for saying that playing music was permitted in Islam and for approving a Muslim woman's marriage to a Christian.

The film is about two brothers who are pop musicians in Lahore, one of whom gets radicalised under the influence of extremists, while the other goes to the US and gets unlawfully detained after 9/11.

The movie is written and directed by Pakistani filmmaker Shoaib Mansoor.

It received a standing ovation from viewers after a special screening in Karachi earlier this week.

However, Tahir's petition complained that Muslim scholars were condescendingly referred to as 'Mullahs'.

He disputed the movie's contention that the Taliban were against Muslims and were murdering them. According to Tahir, the concept was potentially a source of agitation for Muslims.

He lamented that the movie was "full of objectionable ideas". Pakistanis were "very touchy about Islam" and would not accept anything against it, he said.