Pakistan bans Indian film with Bin Laden lookalike

Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:17am EDT
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By Kamran Haider

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani censors have banned an Indian comedy film featuring a lookalike of al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, the film's distributor said on Wednesday.

The ban had been anticipated on grounds that Islamist extremists could use it as a pretext for attacks.

"They have banned it in Pakistan," Nadeem Mandviwall told Reuters. "We have moved an appeal against the board decision but there's little chance we will get relief."

Mandviwall had earlier said censors had found no fault with the film itself.

"It's because they think somebody might do something. They're not saying there's something wrong in the film or the picture is against Osama bin Laden or maligning him," he said.

Walwater Media's production, "Tere Bin Laden" ("Without You, Bin Laden"), revolves around a television journalist whose sole ambition is to gain residency in the United States.

The journalist, played by Pakistani pop star Ali Zafar, films a video with the lookalike, which quickly goes viral online, and attempts to migrate to the United States.

"Our full board have watched the movie and the majority has decided it's not suitable for exhibition," Masood Elahi, vice chairman of the Censor Board of Pakistan (CBP), told Reuters before the ban was imposed. He gave no reasons for the ban.   Continued...

<p>Undated file photo of Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden. REUTERS/Handout/Files</p>