On Tuesday, Punjab Infomation and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan disbanded the Alhamra Arts Council Lahore’s governing body and instructed that production companies must get their scripts approved in advance by the government.
The government made the announcement in order to prohibit showcasing of “poor quality” theatre plays at the arts council. The minister added that only “well written and good” plays will be approved for performance at Alhamra. Furthermore, the organizers will now have to submit PKR 10,000 as a security deposit in advance.
But actor-writer Vasay Chaudhry says that this is an existing law at Alhamra. The Jawani Phir Nahi Aani writer tweeted that he has submitted ‘censor copies’ to the council in the past.
But wernt they always "Govt approved " at Alhamra,as far as i remember we always use to give a censor copy for the authorities,gave one for the first time in 2000.
— vasay chaudhry (@vasaych) December 5, 2018
“But weren’t they always “govt-approved” at Alhmara, as far as I remember we always use to give a censor copy for the authorities, gave one for the first time in 2000,” he tweeted.
The moves come months after the culture minister made defamatory remarks about theatre and film actors. To ensure that this law is imposed, all plays planned at the arts council after 1st January 2019 will be postponed for now.