Salman Khan's Tubelight, which has been creating a huge buzz among millions of his fans worldwide, will not be released in Pakistan. Local distributors in Pakistan are said to be hesitant to acquire the rights to release the film, despite Salman's huge popularity in the country. Reason: Two big local movies are gearing up for an Eid release and the makers don't want any competition from foreign films, especially if it's a Salman starrer.
"Salman has millions of fans in Pakistan and the filmmakers are in no mood to pitch their films against his. They are determined to protect the interests of their films instead," Hirachand Dand, president of the Indian Film Exporters Association, said, according to Deccan Chronicle.
Dand also ruled out the possibility of a delayed release of Tubelight, citing price issue. It was initially speculated that Salman's film will be released two weeks after its scheduled date — June 23 — but the huge price quoted for the film's release in Pakistan forced the distributors to withdraw it.
"The distributors are in no mood to pay the asking price for a Salman film even if it is released two weeks later, since it would have released all over the world by then. The business will also have reduced by 30 percent. And these days, pirated versions of films invariably get leaked online within a week of their release," he said.
However, a Pakistani distributor cited a completely different reason for the issue. He said that Tubelight may not get clearance because of its subject – Indo-China war. Although Salman is a huge star in Pakistan, the film reflects anti-China sentiments and this may not go down well with the Pakistani audience.
"I am not the right person to comment but I doubt whether the film will get clearance considering the Indo-China war subject. Salman is no doubt a big star in Pakistan but the film could also face other hurdles as it reflects anti-China sentiments," Amjad Rashi, veteran Pakistan distributor, was quoted as saying.