ISLAMABAD              -      The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights Tuesday approved release of controversial movie ‘Zindagi Tamasha’ for screening after removing all objections over the film.

The committee that met under the chair of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar made this decision after it completely examined the contents of the movie that had been facing opposition from some religious groups.

“Senate HR committee has unanimously agreed with Censor Board’s decision to allow screening of movie “Zindagi Tamasha”. We’ve found nothing wrong in it. Censor Board has given go ahead to release post COVID. Detail reasoning to follow later,” said Senator Khokhar in a Tweet after the meeting.

Earlier, Senator Khokhar told journalists at the parliament house that the movie created a controversy and made international headlines. He said that the committee decided to watch it completely to see whether the decision of the Central Board of Film Censors was right to allow its screening.

“After watching the movie, the committee unanimously decided that there was nothing objectionable in the film that bars it to be released in cinema houses.”

Senator Khokhar said that the committee had directed the chairman censor board that the film should be allowed for screening when all other movies are allowed in cinema houses following the COVID-19 situation improves. The chairman committee remarked that censor board cleared the film twice to be released for cinema houses but it had to be banned.

The committee in the meeting held that the movie was about behaviours of human beings and it agrees with the decision of the censor board that the public at large should watch it. It said that the movie carried a good message for the masses and the committee supports its objectives.

The release of Zindagi Tamasha had become controversial in January this year after Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called for protests against its scheduled release alleging it was “blasphemous”.

However, the group cancelled its plan of protests after the government said the movie will be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) for review. Later in March, the committee decided that it would examine the matter and barred the CII from reviewing the film. The committee said that CII would only examine it if parliament found something objectionable in the movie.

Separately, the committee took up the matter of killing of eight years old domestic worker Zohra Shah allegedly by her employers, a couple, in Rawalpindi. The committee took up the matter on a point of public importance raised by PTI Senator Waleed Iqbal in the house and on a public petition as well.

A senior police officer of Rawalpindi told the committee that the incident was reported on May 31 while the domestic worker belonged to district Muzaffargarh of Southern Punjab. He said that girl worked at home of Mr Hasan Siddiqui, a property dealer. He said that the dead body of child bore marks of violence and she was subjected to severe torture for releasing pet parrots from cage.

The police officer said that the police had arrested the couple after registering a case of murder against them and recovered video footage from the mobile of the male accused. He said that the girl was caged as a punishment, according to the video. The ill-fated girl was also forced to dance by the employers, he added. He said that the state was complaint in the case so that parents did not make a compromise with the accused couple.

The secretary human rights ministry Rabiya Javeri Agha told the committee that the cabinet has approved declaring employment of domestic workers under the age of 14 and the Ministry of Interior would get this decision implemented for Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The committee directed that interior ministry should issue the notification at earliest and appreciated the police for becoming a complainant in the case. Chairman Khokhar regretted that the Ministry of Interior had not issued notification since last two months following approval of the cabinet.