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Pakistan's first anti-blasphemy telefilm premiered

24 January, 2013

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LAHORE: A private production house has launched the first Pakistani anti-blasphemy tele-film named 'Ujalay Janoon Kay' to build the original image of Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as well as to counter European caricatures and views of western personalities, like Salman Rushadi and Terry John.

Renowned TV drama director Hafeez Tahir has directed the film, while Mukhtar Alam is its writer and producer. The film has two songs and some historical facts, which had not been explained properly in society on any screen before.

The cast of the film includes some of the most prominent names of Pakistani silver screen, like Firdos Jamal and Aurangzeb Leghari, while two teen artists – Mannan and Susman – have also played a key role in the movie representing the new generation of the Muslim community in Pakistan.

The premiere of the film was organised at the Lahore Press Club on Wednesday, which was chaired by renowned poet Amjad Islam Amjad. Hafeez Tahir, religious scholar Maulana Zadirur Rashadi, intellectual Auriya Jaan Maqbool, Justice (r) Nazeer Ghazi and Mukhtar Alam were also among prominent on the stage.

Though the story of the film did not cover different important terror incidents like 9/11, suicide bombings or US drone attacks in Pakistan or other countries, the movie indirectly hinted at the issues and their conflict with the Islamic ideology. Clips of the film were also showed to the media on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering and revealing the basic theme, producer-cum-writer Mukhtar Alam said that no Pakistani artist had ever tried to make a caricature of other religion's spiritual or holy personality, as Islam did not allow disgracing beliefs of others. He also confirmed that for the film, his production team had already obtained fatawas from different Islamic clerics, especially for the music and poetry, as it was not prohibited in Islam.

Other speakers also appreciated the production, unanimously declaring it a good effort to promote Islamic point of view regarding blasphemous issues across the world at the intellectual level. They also urged the West to pay respect to other religious beliefs if they wanted to maintain peace in the world.

Later, talking to our sources, Mukhtar Alam said that he had spent over Rs 4.6 million on the movie. He said that he was running a company named Dimensional International while a software house and an advertising company were also being run under this banner, and all the funds for the film were spent from its budget.

He said that it was a commercial telefilm and he would like to release it on any private television channel, adding that the movie would not be released in local cinemas. Mukhtar Alam is basically a graphic designer and has completed his education from the Punjab University's Department of Fine Arts. It is worth mentioning that a telefilm in Pakistan is usually completed with around Rs 1 million.


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