Neerja Bhanot was honoured with the Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat by the Pakistan government for showing incredible human kindness. Unfortunately, a movie on the braveheart flight attendant will not be released in the neighbouring country.
Sonam Kapoor's "Neerja", which is a story of braveheart flight attendant Bhanot, has been reportedly banned in Pakistan for showing the country in poor light, the Press Trust of India reports.
Directed by Ram Madhvani, "Neerja" tells the story of Bhanot who was shot dead while saving passengers of the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73. The 23-year-old flight attendant helped 359 of the total 379 passengers on board before terrorists killed her on Sep. 5, 1986. The movie will be released worldwide on Feb. 19. Advertisements in the neighbouring country also showed the same release date, but the ministry of commerce banned the import of the film.
"The ministry issued us a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to import the film and bring it to Pakistani territory but later on revoked the NOC," PTI quoted an official with IMGC Entertainment as saying.
Mobashe Hasan, head of Pakistan's censor board, said that the decision to ban the film had come from the information and commerce ministry. "The film was never brought to us for censorship. The commerce and information ministry had also asked the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (PEMRA) to ensure that "Neerja" is not shown on cable channels throughout Pakistan," he said.
An official at the commerce ministry said that the film has been banned because it shows Pakistan and Muslims in negative light. IMGC Executive Director Abid Rasheed also said that the film features certain anti-Pakistan elements that local audiences might not appreciate.
Earlier, Pakistan had banned films such as "Phantom", "Haider", "Baby" and "Ek Tha Tiger" due to the content and recently Sunny Leone's "Mastizaade" was banned for the nudity and obscene content.