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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 09:15 GMT
Pakistan may make Bollywood legal
Poster of Bollywood film
Bollywood movies are very popular in Pakistan despite the ban
Pakistani cinema goers may soon get to watch their favourite Bollywood films if the government clears a proposal by its MPs to remove a ban on them.

Officially Indian films are banned in Pakistan, a prohibition dating back to the 1965 war between the two countries.

Authorities have made exceptions - three films were allowed in 2006.

Cinema owners in Pakistan are keen to screen Bollywood films, but local filmmakers fear an influx would harm the Pakistani film industry.

Now a parliamentary committee on culture has recommended to the government that the ban on Indian films should be removed.

"We have devised a mechanism for allowing the import of Indian films for a period of one year, after which the arrangements can be reviewed," senator Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, who headed the committee told the Press Trust of India news agency.


He said the government would have to clear the proposal to allow the import and release of Indian films.

Though details are unclear, reports suggest that the import of a dozen Indian films will be allowed against the export of an equal number of Pakistani films to India.

It is not clear also whether the Indian government would agree to such a proposal.

In 2006, Pakistan's cultural ministry agreed to screen three Bollywood films in the country.

The films were Moghal-e-Azam, the 1960 classic starring Dilip Kumar and Madhubala; Taj Mahal, a 2005 film, starring Pakistani actress Sonia Jehan; and the 1984 film Sohni Mahiwal.

Even during the ban - and despite the bitter rivalry between the neighbouring countries - Indian films are hugely popular in Pakistan and illicit copies are easy to find.

India's Hindi-language film industry, which includes Bombay's Bollywood movies, is the world's largest by viewership.

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