Here we go again, the age-old back and forth between the two countries over petty issues now have a new angle. Pakistan recently banned the screening of Indian movies and The All Indian Cine Workers Association (AICWA) is now demanding a complete Pakistani artist ban.
Before you roll your eyes at the pettiness that is to follow, I think it's best to realize that Pakistan and India are a little like ex-lovers. Pakistan is the hurt ex-girlfriend and India, the salty ex-boyfriend. Both picking on the smallest issues to get back at each other.
When tensions escalated between the two countries after India scrapped Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. Shaken by India’s decision, Pakistan downgraded its bilateral relations with India and suspended all trade ties with its neighboring countries.
While doing so they also banned Indian films and the streaming of Indian content altogether. Firdous Ashiq Awan, a special assistant on Information and Broadcasting, claimed this action was in retaliation to India's abrogation of the Constitution's Article 370.
But, this is not the first time Pakistan has banned Indian content. Apart from refusing to release a number of Indian movies on grounds of censorship, they also refuse to release Indian films almost every time the political atmosphere becomes tense.
In the same manner, India is also no newcomer to the petty Olympics. After the Pulwama attacks, Raj Thackeray demanded a blanket ban on Pakistan singers.
“We have verbally communicated to Indian music companies like T-Series, Sony Music, Venus, Tips Music, etc. to not work with Pakistani singers. These companies should stop it immediately or we will take action in our own style,” Amey Khopkar, head of the MNS Chitrapat Sena told Press Trust of India (PTI).
The disappearance of Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan seems a little eerie after that last statement (threat) Khopkar made.
AICWA is following in their footsteps. On 8th August, they released a letter addressed to the Prime Minister to enforce a blanket ban on Pakistan artists.
“In relation to Pakistani government banning Indian movies in Pakistan AICWA urges all the film industries to put a complete stop to any association with Pakistani artists, musician, and diplomats,” the statement read.
“Entire film industry and cine workers have refused to resume work, till there is a complete ban of Pakistani movie makers, artists, and trade partner." They added.
Ending cultural ties with either country is another step towards the escalating tension between the two countries. A Pakistani artist ban is not the solution we need to mend our strained ties.
The two nuclear powers are on edge with one another and seem to be playing a game of chess. Moving around their pieces to one-up each other.
While Pakistan's ban on Indian films will only take a hit on their entertainment industry numbers, they stand firm with their decision. A response is still to come for the plea made by the AICWA on a Pakistani artist ban.
But we hope whilst India and Pakistan are busy employing bans onto each other we do hope there is someone looking out for the people of the country.