All those who are questioning presence of LeT/JuD’ chief — Hafiz Saeed, Father-of-Taliban — Sami Ul Haq and Harkat-e-Mujahideen’ leader — Syed Salahuddin, during the funeral of Gen(R) Hameed Gul, should not be surprised by the news coming from Lahore. Punjab’s Lahore High Court (LHC) has banned screening of an Indian movie — Phantom over Hafiz Saeed’s complaint. The movie is based on a fiction “Mumbai Avengers” wherein those allegedly behind the 2008 Mumbai attack/ siege are targeted. Needless to say, Hafiz Saeed who carries a $10 million bounty as announced by the US for his alleged role in masterminding the Mumbai attacks, is the one enshrined in the movie. But what’s the point in banning a movie; all those in Pakistan who want to watch it will go for pirated copies or for its Internet version.

Earlier Maharashtra government also banned screening of Bajrangi Bhaijaan; did that ban stop the movie making record sales across the globe? If the answer is no, then LHC, instead of investing it’s time in movie matters, should ask the government why it’s so reluctant to issue an official list of banned outfits in Pakistan. Yes, only because such a list will prove to be a can of worms — whether or not to include Hafiz Saeed’s JuD and Jalal Ud Din’s Haqqani network. Some movies always helps people to ponder upon events going around them — did India ban ‘Haider’ which highlights the high handedness of Indian security forces in Kashmir, or ‘Maachis’ which brings the Sikh Insurgency and its background in the lime light? There were many Indians who worked hard to get these movies banned; but perhaps LHC was not available to help them out!

Let’s be truthful to ourselves — we created irritants to wage proxy wars in the neighboring countries. Times changed and now these irritants have grown into monsters, looking for human blood to survive, no matter if it’s their creator’s blood! The earlier we recognize this bitter truth, the better for Pakistan. Sadly that’s not the case — after losing a brave soldier such as Shuja Khanzada, Pakistan’ hawkish interior minister is still protecting Lal Masjid clerics and Hafiz Saeed under his wings.


Saudi Arab, August 21.