We all remember controversy that followed post release of “Maalik” in 2016. The film was banned from cinemas, declaring it “uncertified” according to section 9 of Motion Pictures Ordinance 1979 after three weeks of release. The film was initially cleared by all three censor boards of the country with Universal (Unrestricted) rating.
Ashir Azeem who directed, wrote and also acted in the film was deeply disappointed at the development and left the country calling out the hypocrisy of its society and started driving a truck in Canada .
“Dhuwan” and “Maalik” famed Ashir had previously served in Pakistan Customs
and was being investigated for “corrupt practices” and misuse of authority in awarding a contract for computerization of the FBR department to a foreign country.
Recently a resolution by Seemabia Tahir, member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, is submitted in Punjab Assembly quoting that, “The provincial assembly feels that Punjab is a great patriot of the drama serial “Dhuwan” and creator of the movie “Maalik”. The resolution further states that after passing the examination test, Ashir honestly served the services of Pakistan Customs. He belongs to the Christian religion and the love of Pakistan is so rich in them that they always make their introduction as a Pakistani.
The petition further acknowledged “Maalik” and declared Aashir to be a man of honour saying, “This House also understands Ashir, the author, and director of “Maalik” made the film to awaken the awareness of the people of Pakistan. This House also believes that despite the great work of honesty, the cases were made in the most inquiry. But they proved to be honorable in all inquiries and cases. After which he resigned from an important role in Pakistan customs that he has lost this system. Today, a great person is trying to drive a loan in Great Canada, which is a bright example of honesty.”
The petition further demanded return of Ashir Azeem to Pakistan and restoration of his position .
We at Pakistani Cinema hope that artists be dealt with respect and sensitivity for the honour of art and freedom of speech, while the fate of petition remains to be seen.