A day after the Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA) passed a resolution banning Pakistani artistes from working in India until tensions between the two countries stabilized, Pak cinema chains have retaliated.
According to a report in the Express Tribune, cinema chains in the country have come together to not exhibit any Indian films indefinitely.
"We will suspend the exhibition of Indian films till normalcy. No Indian movies will play in my cinemas from Friday onwards for sure," Nadeem Mandviwalla, owner of Mandviwalla Entertainment which runs Atrium Cinemas in Karachi and Centaurus in Islamabad, was quoted as saying.
Another multiplex owner also told the Tribune that they won't be screening Indian films in 'solidarity with our actors.'
However, Cinepax, Pakistan's largest chain of multiplex is yet to officially take a call on whether it will screen Indian films or not, but a senior official told the Tribune that they will be following suit.
Unlike India, no official body in Pakistan has enforced a ban on exhibiting or screening Indian films and the entire exercise, it appears, is ad hoc.
The ban is likely to make the Pakistani film industry bleed as it relies heavily on revenue generated from Bollywood films.
According to a report in The Hindu, the industry may suffer a loss of 70 percent if the situation between the two countries remains tense.
Mandivalla was quoted in the paper as saying, "I don't want to sound pessimistic but the truth is there has only been a boom in the cinema industry in Pakistan in the last few years because of the release of latest Bollywood and Hollywood films."
He added, "I just hope the ties don't remain tense on long term basis. If there is a temporary ban, we can survive but if there is any permanent ban, you can expect a lot of cinema houses and multiplexes to close down."
A senior official from Cinepax told The Hindu that from October onwards, the cinema chain is planning to screen old Pakistani movies.
Also see on HuffPost: