Na Maloom Afraad 2 (NMA 2) was recently banned in Punjab, this decision came as a surprise for everyone including the cast and crew of the movie. It was doing a good business of about 200 million rupees that this ban came according to the film producer Fizza Ali Meerza.
The reasons of ban written in the notification were of objectionable scenes and stuff that raised complaints.
A press conference was held by the director Nabeel Qureshi, producer Fizza Ali and a co-star Mohsin Abbas Haider on 7th October for the in-depth discussion of the issue. It was mentioned during the press conference by the producer of the film that a petition has already been filed in High Court and the NMA 2 team would actively follow it. She further said that the ban has affected the film heavily as it was doing good business before the ban. According to her September was the first month of this year in which any Pakistani movie did so well. The week after Ashura holidays is an important one for the newly released movies but the ban is not letting our movie do business.
Meerza said that as per the reviews of all Punjab’s cinema owners the movie was really doing well and no issues have been reported to the owners yet, which clearly indicates that the public has accepted and liked the film.
The lawyer of the team NMA 2 was also present during the press conference. The lawyer said that there is a law according to which the producers of the film are contacted by the exhibitors in case of any issues in the film and then the issues are mutually sorted out. In case the issues are not resolved then any further actions are taken. As per the lawyer of the team, Na Maloom Afraad did not go through this prescribed procedure.
Meerza informed that they encountered problems even at the time of Actor in Law’s release from all three censors that is Sindh, Central, and Punjab. All the censors have various kinds of objections which were satisfied and the film was released and did well. She said but this time it’s different, nobody contacted us for any discussion simply they just banned the movie.
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It is important to mention that Na Maloom Afraad 2 was watched by the entire board prior to its release but no concerns were there at that time even the female members watched it but had no objections, this was told by one of the senior members of the board.
It was told by one of the officials that the film is not banned in Sindh it is being shown there, the reasons for its ban in Punjab are beyond their understanding. The official further added that we had no objections to it, our government banned it. We were not even called in for any dialogue but a notification was received about NMA 2’s ban.
Film’s director mentioned that if the film was having any unethical content then it should not have cleared with the censor boards initially. He said he feels that the ban is because the government of Punjab is inclined towards Sheikhs. The film was also banned in Dubai because it ridicules them and their luxuries. Qureshi believes that the government of Punjab is behind this banning decision as the movie risks the PML-N’s associations with the Arabs. They tried justifying the ban by claiming the movie depicts unethical content.
The producer of the film said that this is not the first time any film got this treatment. Earlier Maalik went through the same issue. She said banning films without proper reasons would affect Pakistani cinema.
Nevertheless, the film has been cleared again by the censor board of Punjab and will be hitting cinemas again. Relating the ban lift the director expressed his pleasure and said that he is happy that the film would be up again in cinemas this weekend. He also added that the film is being screened again for the public which indicates that there were no issues with the film or its content.
A notification was released by the Punjab censor board stating that the film was re-watched and no issues were found.