Maalik is a 2016 Pakistan action thriller by Ashir Azeem.
Starring Ashir Azeem, Farhan Ally Agha and Sajid Hassan.
An Afghan family that escapes from the ravages of the Soviet war in Afghanistan and settles in Karachi. A SSG officer who undergoes a personal tragedy and starts a private security company (Black Ops Pvt. Ltd) in Karachi. His SSG colleagues keep joining
the company on their retirements. An idealist school master who suffers greatly under a cruel Feudal lord and settles in Karachi and finally the Feudal Lord who becomes the Chief Minister of Sindh and unleashes a reign of terror on all that cross his
path. Maalik is a story of love, loyalty, honor, family value, idealism, courage and dignity against all odds, and across all sections of society from the poor and the struggling to the highest levels of wealth and power.
The film was removed from cinema screens by government authorities a few weeks after its initial premiere on April 8, 2016. This is in spite of it being cleared by all three censor boards.
The film was flagged by the Sindh government after they accused one of the characters portraying a corrupt former Chief Minister as being too similar to the present Chief Minister of Sindh province. A ministry official told local newspapers:
The information ministry reserves the right to ban any film at any time. Maalik has been banned because it shows a former chief minister as a man of corruption and opulence.
Following numerous appeals from Sindh, the film was eventually banned by the Federal Government across the rest of Pakistan.
The Pakistani government later attempted to ban the export of the film on August 9, 2016, barring it from being shown overseas. However, despite these attempts, the film was set for release in the UK and internationally on August 26, 2016.
Director Ashir Azeem commented on the failed attempt to ban the export of the film:
Authorities in Pakistan are very concerned with how they are perceived, especially abroad. Whereas this might be considered an overreaction in some countries, it has become the go-to method for the authorities to ban content they deem offensive or
Meanwhile in the UK, the film was passed 15 uncut for strong violence, sexual threat for 2016 cinema release.
Update: Unbanned by High Court
7th September 2016. See article from dawn.com
The Sindh High Court has declared the federal government's controversial ban on film Maalik illegal and cleared it
to be screened again.
The federal government had banned Maalik, overruling film censors who had cleared it for its release on April 8. The government banned the film after it had been on release for 3 weeks and did not provide any explanation for banning the film in its
Ashir Azeem, the film's director, had challenged the ban in court saying the ban on Maalik had been imposed by the government without having the authority to do. The authority to establish censor boards was a prerogative of provincial governments
following the 18th amendment, he had argued.
And Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah duly cleared the film for screening across the country while ruling the ban illegal.