The Information Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, on Thursday, ordered a province-wide ban on “vulgar” and “indecent” film posters displayed inside and outside theatres, Dawn reported. The minister further warned that if any cinema house resorted to displaying such “vulgar” posters, they would be fined first and upon subsequent violation, the theatre would be shut down.
According to an official notification shared on his Twitter account, Chohan has ordered that “necessary action be taken for the removal of vulgar/indecent film signboards under Indecent Advertisement Probation Act 1993 and Punjab Motion Picture Ordinance 1979”. Interestingly, the terms “vulgar” and “indecent” have not been clearly defined in the notification.
“If any vulgar poster goes up in or outside a cinema house in Punjab, there will first be a fine and if they continue the practice, the cinema will be shut down,” the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader said.
— Fayazulhasan chohan (@Fayazchohanpti) August 30, 2018
The development comes on the backdrop of his comments at an event on Wednesday, where he derided the media industry for using “vulgar” posters and likened it with porn. The video of the event has since gone viral on social media. “A strange youthfulness has taken over cinema houses. Is this civilized? That you print out pictures of half-naked women and put up huge posters of them? People watch porn for that (kind of entertainment),” Dawn quoted Chouhan as saying.
According to the Punjab minister, besides Indian content, Pakistan films and stage shows were themselves to blame for the decline of the industry. “Not only Indian content, but what Pakistani films and stage shows portray that has led towards the decline (of the industry),” he said.