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Pakistan: An open letter to PM - Intellectuals concerned over ban on ‘Manto’

16 December 2018

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The News, December 16, 2018

LAHORE: ’Manto’, a critically acclaimed film directed by Nandita Das, celebrates the life of an Urdu writer who chose Pakistan as his home during the Indian partition but is collectively owned and revered by the people of subcontinent.

The audiences and critics worldwide have appreciated the film. However, it is a matter of huge concern that the Pakistan Censor Board has recently decided to debar the film.

The disappointing decision to ban the film has created a hue and cry among writers, poets, and intellectuals in the literary circles of Pakistan. The film ban is being hugely protested as it is considered a threatening attack to creative and artistic freedom of expression. It is therefore, appealed that the ban is dismissed with immediate effect.

Saadat Hassan Manto had faced persecution, torture and years of court trials during “Purana Pakistan”. Would the same dreadful fate befall the writers, particularly, ‘Manto’ in “Naya Pakistan”?

The letter has been signed by I.A. Rehman, veteran Journalist and human rights activist; Hussain Naqi, senior Journalist; Dr. Sadat Saeed, President PWA; Mirza Hamid Baig, Author; Salima Hashmi, Painter and Rights Activist; Manto’s daughter Nighat Manto, Nusrat Manto and Nuzhat Manto; Mohammad Tehseen, Director SAP-PK; Beena Sarwar, Journalist; Almas Jovindah, Adv High Court; Ali Jaffer Zaidi, Anti-war Activist (London); Saleem Asmi, Former Editor; Ammar Aziz, Documentary Filmmaker; Sehyr Mirza, Journalist and Peace Activist; Ammara Ahmed, Journalist; Saeed Ahmed, Journalist, Writer & Secretary General of Manto Memorial Society.

P.S.

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