ISLAMABAD - The ministry of defence has directed the owners of cinemas situated in cantonment areas to get the censorship certificate from Central Board of Film Censor (CBFC) instead of provincial censorship boards for exhibition of films.
The decision was taken because the issue of censorship was devolved to the provinces after the enactment of the 18th amendment and the cinemas situated in cantonment areas took censorship certificates from provincial film censor boards, The Nation learnt on Saturday. The ministry of information raised the issue with the defence ministry and convinced the latter that cantonment boards fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government and, therefore, the cinemas situated in these areas should be directed to get censorship certificates from the CBFC.
The sources in CBFC informed The Nation that defence ministry has written a letter to director general Military Land and Cantonment and directed that all the cinemas in cantonment boards should get the censorship certificate issued by the CBFC.
"You are hereby informed in your own interest that before the exhibition of a film a censorship certificate issued by Central Board of Film Censor Islamabad be provided to this office, otherwise this office is empowered to seal your cinema through representatives," reads the letter sent to the owners of cinemas situated at Karachi cantonment area on July 15.
Vice Chairman CBFC Najeeb Akram told this scribe that after the enactment of the 18th amendment the regional chapters of censor boards were devolved to the provinces but as the cantonment boards were a federal subject and fell under the jurisdiction of the defence ministry they did not fall under the jurisdictions of regional censor boards.
He said that information ministry raised this issue with the defence ministry and wrote several letters to the defence ministry requesting it to direct the owners of cinemas located in cantonment areas to get the censorship certificates from CBFS. He said that defence ministry finally had written a letter to the chief executives of the cinemas situated in cantonment areas to get censorship certificate from CBFS. He said that it would be illegal for these cinemas to get censorship certificates from provincial boards.
Akram said that CBFS before the issuance of this order was only responsible for issuing censorship certificate to the films being shown in the three cinemas located in the federal capital. He added that after implementation of orders of defence ministry the list of the cinemas, which fall under the jurisdiction of CBFC, has raised to 46.
He said that his organisation had already instructed the cinema houses to exhibit the quality films and avoid showing anti-Pakistan material.