Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday barred Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) from the screening of Sarmad Khoosat’s film Zindagi Tamasha. The committee said that it would decide the film’s fate after reviewing it in the next meeting on March 16.
The committee, chaired by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, took this decision after an in-camera session, that was held to discuss the film. The officials from central and provincial censor boards briefed the Senate committee regarding the content of Zindagi Tamasha.
The committee’s chairman Mustafa Nawaz, while speaking to media, said that the committee has stopped the CII from reviewing the film and directed the Central Board of Film Censors to provide a copy of the film for screening.
“A screening of the film will be arranged on March 16, after which the panel will decide if the movie needs to be sent to the CII for approval or not. If we do not find the film objectionable, orders will be given for the film’s immediate release,” Khokhar said.
On January 28, the CII had set up a four-member committee that would review the film and submit a report to CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz.
The release of the film was suspended by the government after facing pressure from extremist religio-political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), and other ultra-conservative religious forces in the country. Director Sarmad Khoosat has expressed disappointment over the obstacles to the film as well as the threats to him from religious hardliners.
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