LAHORE           -          Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Saturday the government was all committed to revive film industry and resettle cinemas to portray Pakistan’s soft image to the world as well as promote Pakistani culture, Islamic ideology and philosophy as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

She was addressing a news conference after chairing a meeting of film industry stakeholders here at PID office while, Film Producers Association Chairman Amjad Rasheed, Film Exhibitors Association Chairman Zoraiz Lashari, renowned film producer Syed Noor, and Zakria Butt also accompanied her.

Dr Firdous was of the view that brighter face of Pakistan’s tourism could not be highlighted without resettling the cinemas and local production of films depicting Pakistani culture and Islamic values.

After the 18th amendment, the provinces had established their censor boards due to which unification  and ratification link of censorship of films under one umbrella was missed, she said and added that keeping this factor in view, the federal government was going to put the problems pertaining to film industry before the CCI (Council of Common Interests) so as to constitute a consensus censorship board.

After film industry, she mentioned, the government was also mulling to give an industry status to cinemas as well, besides securing the rights of the art and the artists and reviving the studios, cinemas and film production house which were ruined by the menace of terrorism. Suffocation prevailed in the society as our youth had to rely on Indian and western movies, and subsequently, they tried to synergize the cultural and social values of the west with their own culture and in this way, they were going far from Pakistani and Islamic culture and values, she maintained.

Dr Fidous Ashiq Awan also repeated the Prime Minister’s vision and message for film producers that they must promote Pakistani culture and tradition, and being Muslims, focus on Islamic values, philosophy and ideology while making films. Since the number of Sikh Yatrees from across the world

coming to Pakistan had increased manifolds with the establishment of Kartarpur Corridor therefore  such films must also be produced locally which provided them (Sikh yatrees) entertainment here.

The PM’s Special Assistant assured that government would fully support the film producers, exhibitors, cinemas owners, studios, art and the artists for revival of films aimed at promoting Pakistani culture and Islamic values in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Later, responding to reporters’ queries, she said that there was no restriction on ‘Aurat March,’ however, its participants would have to assess whether any agenda of anti-Pakistan elements behind this march. She added that PTI government was putting in order effective measures to empower women socially, economically, constitutionally, legally and religiously, and wanted to see them excelling in every walk of life.

To another question, she said that Bilawal Bhutto was now entrenched in Lahore and turned his guns towards the government, asserting that had he done this with the past rulers instead of taking sumptuous feast at Jati Umra, he would not have felt isolation in Punjab now.

The second string of PML-N leadership was running from pillar to post for political gains but to no avail, as the government ally MQM through a press release had contradicted their (Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other PML-N leaders) claim of mid-term election after having meeting with MQM’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and others, she responded to a reporter’s query.

Regarding Nawaz Sharif’s deportation letter, she said the government had fulfilled its legal responsibility, adding that Sharif family was not giving any latest updates about Nawaz Sharif, who was suffering from an ailment namely ‘far from rule’ and no doctor in the world had its remedy or cure.

To another query, she said, “You point me out any past government that had presented its own ministers to NAB for accountability. The PTI is the only government holding its own ministers accountable as it believed in strengthening and independent working of all the institutions including NAB.”

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan mentioned that on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, film industry associations and stakeholders held a meeting with Federal Information Secretary here to discuss their problems including duties and taxes as well as government’s priorities in this regard. She disclosed that an intra-film industry stakeholders committee had also been constituted that would give its recommendations to Information Ministry within 15 days, while the Ministry also constituted a committee to assess and incorporate their suggestions in the new film policy, besides taking all film industry stakeholders aboard.

On this occasion, renowned film producer Syed Noor said that in his 70 years life, he found the PTI government very much serious about revival of film industry.

Film Producers Association Chairman Amjad Rashid assured that they would highlight Pakistani culture and Islamic values in their film making. He also thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan, PM’s Special Assistant Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Federal Information Secretary for their patronage and listening patiently to film industry problems. Film Exhibitors Association Chairman Zoraiz Lashari also spoke on the occasion.