Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan is interested in reviving the film industry of Pakistan and particularly to improve the soft power of Pakistan by reflecting the essence of Pakistanism, and protecting and promoting the culture and values of our society. While film is certainly a medium to develop, restricting it only to reflect or build on soft power will involve a rigorous change or discussion of the values and culture of this society. This would involve a great deal of effort to separate the parochial from the state in order to show and promote a healthy culture in Pakistan along with the deconstruction of social values that provide more damage instead of growth.

PM Khan’s first meeting was with government officials regarding the matter, however, the second meeting on Saturday in Lahore will involve several stakeholders like cinema owners, film producers, directors, and the culture secretary. This should allow the PM to develop an understanding of how the film industry works, what are some of the challenges they face in scriptwriting, production, and promotion of their films. Films in any country are representative of the creative minds that exist and should not be restricted to a particular narrative, in order to create space for diversity and multiculturalism.

A recent example of such restricting boundaries was the film “Zindagi Tamasha” by Sarmad Khoosat. Based entirely on the trailer, the film was maligned and labeled anti-state. Despite the formation of a committee and a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) joining the review committee, the film is still blocked between administrative loopholes. Due to such hindrances, many filmmakers do not want to invest in making feature films in the country. The environment should be conducive to the individual making films in the country in order to help build the industry.