The man accused of masterminding the 2008 terror attacks on Mumbai has succeeded in persuading a court to ban a Bollywood spy thriller in Pakistan on the basis that it would damage his reputation.
An Indian movie set to be released next has been banned in Pakistan on the behest of wanted terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who filed a plea in court saying the film contains “filthy propaganda” against him and his organization.
Saeed is the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa — the political wing of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Both organizations are blacklisted by the U.S., which has a $10 million bounty on Saeed. The U.N. declared Lashkar-e-Taiba a terrorist group in 2005.
Saeed’s legal team argued that the film was anti-Pakistan and maligned Saeed and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the organisation he currently heads.
Lahore High Court Judge Shahid Bilal Hasan ordered a ban until 23 September, to give the interior ministry time to explain what steps it was taking to block films critical of Pakistan.
The movie, titled Phantom, features Bollywood superstars Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif and is set in the aftermath of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that Saeed is said to have been the driving force behind. The attacks killed more than 150 people.
Indian films seen as anti-Pakistan have been banned in the past, but pirated versions are often easily available on DVD.