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The festivities of banning are upon us and the good, the bad, and the ugly (take a guess which one is the censor board here) have met to decide which film they want to ban this year and for what reason – or if there’s a reason at all! While Verna faces the censor board’s clippers this month, it’s not the first film to have suffered an unreasonable censorship.

So, what exactly can get your film banned? Here’s a lowdown on what or who not to cast negatively in a Pakistani movie…

The Government

The Pakistan government is a sacred entity that mustn’t be made fun of and politicians, especially those in power, are holy cows that must not be slaughtered onscreen! Like Roman gods, they are the epitome of power, piousness, and purity. If you must portray the government in a bad light then do so on a TV channel, on a talk show or even a TV drama where you’re only showing to millions of more eyeballs. Films are a no-go area to suggest that the Governor’s son, for example, can commit a heinous crime. Take note, Shoaib Mansoor, next time make it the Leader of the Opposition’s son.


Before anyone thinks otherwise, we, of course, mean the PR agencies that promote the film, advertising agencies that create their campaign even talent agencies that provide extras for songs etc! What on earth were you thinking?

Ya Sheikhs

Wallah! How can the oil-barons of the great Middle East ever be bad? All they do is take our labour and in return, give us millions and millions of lashes, cashes or aishes? We’re unsure. Do not lampoon them or twist their names to sound like exotic Turkish delights. Please take note, Nabeel Qureshi. Do not begrudge the Baklavas their gold potties!


Never, and we mean NEVER talk about the S word! No one in Pakistan consummates, at least that’s what the movies would have you believe! Pakistan’s 210 million plus population has been delivered by the friendly storks! Also remember, it’s perfectly okay to show a mujra as an art form (as long as you’re objectifying the woman and not the man) but don’t dare talk about contraceptives and condoms on television! Be-haya! Banned!


It’s winter and boots are the most important accessory of the season. Do not, we repeat, do NOT cast them in an unflattering light for that is an unforgivable crime almost as punishable as the Emperor’s Clothes that would allow him to go missing. Swarovski studded, soft calf leather, snakeskin or plain simple suede, love thy boots people.

And lastly, beards

Gentlemen, we are lucky to have a very fashion savvy censor board that understands the importance of a well-groomed or even bushy, old-fashioned beard. It is the facial accessory of the moment (and that moment has lasted centuries) and there’s a no-tolerance policy of mocking it or showing it in a bad light.