July 15th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

Security Brief: Pakistan bans bin Laden comedy

Pakistan has banned the theatrical release of a comedy about Osama bin Laden due to hit cinema screens in South Asia on Friday. Local movie distributors say they are appealing the ban, issued by the Pakistan Film Censor Board.

The film, "Tere bin Laden," [Your bin Laden] stars Pakistani pop singer Ali Zafar as an ambitious young journalist trying to land the scoop of a lifetime as a way to win a visa to live in the United States.

Made in the India's Bollywood "movie factory", it's a departure from the melodramas and musicals which dominate Indian cinematic fare. It’s also unusual in that it has a Pakistani in the starring role.

The trailer for "Tere bin Laden" suggests a movie of fast-paced slapstick comedy, and shows Zafar trying to coax an anxious and utterly inept bin Laden look-alike to impersonate the al Qaeda leader.

Watch the trailer at www.terebinladen.com

"You have a million-dollar face," he pleads, but the whole scheme spirals out of control when a video they make is taken seriously by the U.S. government.

The movie is the directorial debut of Abhishek Sharma, who calls it a “mad comedy.”

Pakistani officials expressed concern that the characterization of bin Laden could incite terrorism in a country that already has more than its share of political violence. Masood Elahi, vice chairman of the Censor Board, is quoted by local media as saying: "There was no justification to release the film in Pakistan under the present circumstances.” Film distributor Khalid Pervez told CNN that the distributors’ appeal will be heard Friday.

Zafar told the Pakistani news network Geo TV that he was disappointed by the ban. "I wanted that people should go to the cinema and enjoy this movie," he said.

Many cinemas in Pakistan have been driven out of business by a thriving black market in pirated DVDs, so the impact of the ban may not be that great. Pakistanis who really want to see “Tere bin Laden” will be able to pick it up within days.

Journalist Nasir Habib contributed to this report

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soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Not an Islamic

    I am not surprised, because Bin Laden is loved by Pakistani people, government and the almighty military. The same guys hate India and U.S. in that order. Sooner Americans realize this instead of burrying their heads in the sand, the Al queda menace will be eliminated from the world.

    July 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • I am Pakistani

      I hat when illiterate people like himself who think they know about people on the other side of world when the really do not. I am Pakistani and have many Pakistani friends and not one of us agree with what Osama Bin Laden and supposedly done. Please do not post comments saying things that aren't true while the only perspective you have on things is from what the media brain washes you into

      July 16, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. EISH5

    If only comedy could help with our efforts in the Middle East. Poking fun at one of the most successful leaders of our time might feel good and even be appropriate if we were in fact winning, but were are in our 9th year of defeat and I can tell you that our brave soldiers are not dieing laughing.

    July 15, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. k.tro

    The pakistanies just don't want there president made fun of.

    July 16, 2010 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. princessuk

    FREE Download and Watch movie base on real story
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    July 22, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. princessuk

    FREE Download and Watch movie base on real story
    see watz happening in Afghinstan – untold truth
    ~~~KABUL EXPRESS~~~
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    herez link
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    July 22, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
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