Pakistan film festival opens in Sri Lanka

Nov 04, Colombo: The inaugural show of the two-day Pakistan Film Festival 2011 was held today at the National Film Corporation auditorium.

The main feature of this film festival is the screening of “Khuda Khay Liye” (In the name of God), a Pakistani Urdu Language Film with English Sub Titles, written, directed and produced by Shoaib Mansoor, a press release from High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo said.

Member of Parliament Namal Rajapaksa attended the event as the Chief Guest. High Commissioner of Pakistan Ms. Seema Ilahi Baloch, ministers, parliamentarians, Sri Lankan TV and films celebrities, diplomats, business personalities and media participated in the event.

Ms. Baloch said in her opening remarks that “we worship in the name of God; we seek mercy in the name of God; We ask for our daily bread in the name of God; We give and we forgive in the name of God; But should we also kill in the name of God. That is the question this film will attempt to answer, this evening.”

She hoped the film about two young men suffering the impact of the war on terrorism will help the audience to get a perspective of an average moderate Pakistani family on the global war on terror, a war which is being fought on the territory of Afghanistan but with grave consequences for Pakistan.

“Pakistan as some of you may know has been thrust into the front-line of the war on terror since 1979,” Ms. Baloch added.

“The innocent women and children are being killed in the border areas of Pakistan even now. Since 2001 Over 12,000 soldiers have died or been wounded; 261 suicide attacks have resulted in 10,000 dead and wounded; Pakistan has suffered more than 22,000 casualties in our fight against terrorism,” she added.

She further remarked that “the men who crashed the planes into the Twin Towers were neither Pakistanis nor Afghanis. Yet Afghanistan was attacked and Pakistan was forced to co-operate. We did not ask for this war. We know just as you know with your experience of war and its atrocities that war destroys a nation physically, and spiritual.”

She urged the audience to open their hearts and minds to look beyond even the film which they saw as the victims of this war are real, their suffering is real; their loss of dignity is real.

“The relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is based on mutual trust and commonality of interest in maintaining regional peace, security and stability. Pakistan has always supported the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka. Both countries have shared common perceptions on almost all regional and international issue and are working together on all these forums for shared values and interests,” the High Commission said in the statement.

A Cultural Agreement between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was signed in December 1973 which provides the basis for meaningful cooperation in the fields of folklore, music, dance, painting, exhibition, calligraphy etc. The latest Cultural Exchange programme was signed between the government of Pakistan and the Government of Sri Lanka in March 2006 during the visit of President Rajapaksa to Pakistan covering the period from 2007-2011. This programme provides for promotion of cultural, scientific, media and educational relations between the two countries.

Besides other areas of cooperation, the Cultural Cooperation Exchange programme provides for joint production of documentary films on topics of national and historical interests, and organization of film exhibitions.

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