After hogging enough controversy in India for featuring Pakistani actor Mahira Khan, supporting gangsterism and showing a religion in a bad light, the release of Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees was quite a challenge for the makers. But it looks like the film, despite doing wonders at the Indian box office, has another hurdle to cross. The content of Raees is raising eyebrows in Pakistan too.
The film was scheduled to release in the neighbouring country after the ban on Bollywood films was lifted recently. The news had brought much happiness to its cast and crew, which was gearing up for the film’s big opening on Pakistani theaters on February 10. But according to some latest reports by Pakistani media, the film’s release has been put on hold.
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A report on the website of Pakistan’s Samaa TV reads, “Although Sindh and Punjab Censor Boards have issued U certificates to Raees on Friday, Central Censor Board is yet to approve the screening of the film in Pakistan. According to Chairman Censor Board, they have previewed the film, however, the decision will be taken on coming Monday as Saturday is weekly off and Sunday is a public holiday.”
Another Pakistani daily suggests that the decision to put a hold on the film’s release has been taken because the Censor Board thinks the film “apparently is defaming Muslims and showing them as goons and notorious underworld figures.”
Raees has already crossed Rs 135 crore in India. Mahira Khan, who finally promoted the film through a video call while interacting with Indian media in Mumbai recently, spoke about how people in Pakistan were eagerly waiting for its release. “You know there are more SRK fans than mine. Claps were louder for him, not me. It will release in Pakistan, and everybody is waiting,” she had said.
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However, with the current turn of events, it looks like the Pakistani audience will have to wait a little longer to watch SRK romancing Mahira. Meanwhile, Raees’ box office rival, Kaabil has already begun its Pakistan screening. The film opened with late night shows on February 1. Considering Raees already fell a week behind in terms of its release in Pakistan as against Kaabil, this SRK film surely has more hurdles to cross.