The screening of Yasir Hussain and Ayesha Omar’s crime series – a biopic on a renowned serial killer, Javed Iqbal – has been stopped only days before its theatrical release.
The film Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer was scheduled to open in theatres across the country today, but the Punjab government delayed its release with immediate effect. The film has been ordered not to be released by the CBFC (Central Board of Film Censors) in accordance with the Punjab government’s demands.
“The Punjab Information and Culture Department has put a hold on the release of Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer due to public criticism,” says the statement. “All boards will re-examine the video and make further judgments on whether it should be released or not,” says the statement.
“We haven’t yet declared the date of re-examination,” the official continued, “but whenever we decide, we will inform the public.”
“The CBFC has suspended the broadcast of a film on Javed Iqbal,” a CBFC spokesperson said. We haven’t decided whether or not to re-examine it. Chairman of the CBFC, Arshad Munir, has taken a firm stance on the issue, saying, “It will be stopped for release, although other provinces can re-examine it according to their policies.”
Pakistan now has a separate censor board for each province, owing to the 18th amendment. Because KP and Balochistan do not have their own censor boards, they rely on the CBFC’s decision on the films. The CBFC is only responsible for certifying films screened in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and cantonment territories across the country.
It’s worth noting that when the picture was postponed from December to January, the producers were still seeking for approval from the Islamabad Censor Board.