Pakistan's censor board cleared the highly controversial movie Udta Punjab after suggesting more than 100 cuts to remove "objectionable and anti-Pakistan" content from the film.
"All 10-members of the CBFC have unanimously allowed 'Udta Punjab' to be released after editing objectionable content," Mubashir Hasan, the head of Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC, Pakistan), told PTI.
Hasan said almost every dialogue had offensive words so they suggested a large number of cuts in the drama based on drugs set in Punjab.
"We have cut all derogatory and offensive words/dialogues and anti-Pakistan content from the film. More than 100 cuts, mutes, beeps have been suggested to the film's distributor. Once he will complete the editing as per the requirement of the board, it will again be presented before it for final approval," Hasan said.
The Abhishek Chaubey-directed movie, starring Bollywood A-listers Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, and Punjabi star Diljit Dosanjh, had run into trouble with the Indian censor board which demanded 89 cuts from the movie.
Not ready to relent, the producers moved the Bombay High Court against the board to get their film cleared for its scheduled release on 17 June while also gathering support from Bollywood. The court passed the movie with just one cut and a revised disclaimer.
Earlier, the five-member panel of the board declined to pass Udta Punjab for screening in Pakistan, citing objectionable content but Hasan said they later decided to give it conditional approval.
"We had not banned this movie. On the appeal of the distributor the full board sat together today and gave conditional approval for its screening here," Hasan said.
He said the board never compromises on anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan and anti-society contents in a film and bans it forthwith.
"Udta Punjab does not fall in that category. We have asked the distributor to delete those scenes which even slightly refer to Pakistan and words like '786' (which refers to Bismillah) and words 'Maryam'."
The film's distributor is likely to get the content edited in Dubai in a day or two before presenting it again before the CBFC for final approval.
"Udta Punjab is likely to be screened across Pakistan this weekend," the distributor said.