Bollywood Buzz

ISI promoting piracy by banning Agent Vinod

Nobody’s saying it, but in asli cloak and dagger style, the real reason behind Agent Vinod’s shocking ban in Pakistan is supposed to be that nation’s dreaded premier intelligence agency – the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

A reliable source from Karachi told that ban on the release of Saif Ali Khan’s film on Friday, was done in by Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors, entirely on the orders of the ISI. Alarmed at the manner in which Agent Vinod shows the Pakistani Army’s involvement with the Taliban and Afghanistan, plus the assassination of the ISI chief, and its tacit encouragement of terrorism in India, the intelligence agency put its hob-nailed foot down.

While Saif, who co-produced the film, sought to play down the ban and made light of the Rs 1 crore loss Agent Vinod would suffer due to this restriction in Pakistan, the truth is the piracy market run by the Pakistani mafia and the fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s associates is all set to churn out pirated copies of the film on DVD, VCD and pen drive formats which will fetch them around 10 to 15 million (Rs 1.5 crore) in the first four days at local markets.

The Karachi source confirmed, “By banning Agent Vinod, the ISI has indirectly promoted piracy, which will divert all its profits to the terrorist groups through the local mafia and underworld to wage war against countries.” Indian intelligence has since long suspected that the revenue collected from pirated films in Pakistan is used in funding terrorism against India. News from Malaysia has it that the ban sent the demand for master copies of Agent Vinod sky-rocketing. As soon as the UFO or the international print arrives in Malaysia, it is downloaded or copied (into High Definition camera prints) and uploaded through private websites and servers to fixed dealers in Pakistan.

IMGC Global Entertainment (Pvt) Ltd. – the leading distributor of Indian films in Pakistan – explained the ban on Agent Vinod by saying that films should facilitate the peace process between the two countries and not disturb it. Saif laughed off this explanation by saying, “They are always banning our movies. Kurbaan was also banned. But I understand if they get upset because we are beating them up quite often in the film.”

Meanwhile, buzz from across the border is that the local sentiment is in Saif’s favour. People cannot understand why Pakistan would look a gift horse in the mouth and deny the ISI such good publicity – especially with Kareena Kapoor playing the role of an ultra sexy Pakistani spy in Agent Vinod!


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