Time to Reopen Cinemas in Kashmir: Govt

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Srinagar—The state government has said it would take initiatives for re-opening of cinema halls across Kashmir for “genuine entertainment” and sought cooperation of all the sections of society in this regard.

The State’s Works Minister and spokesman of PDP-BJP coalition government, Naeem Akhtar said the people of Kashmir have denied their children entertainment of cinema halls. “Today our children, who are even 20-30 year old, they have not seen any (cinema). We have denied them. There are cinemas across the world,” the Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a film festival at Tagore Hall here on Wednesday.

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Akhtar said he fails to understand why people of Kashmir feel negative about cinema halls despite presence of cinemas across the world and even in countries like Pakistan. “There are cinemas across the world. Even there are cinemas in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is also opening up cinema and other things in Riyadh. Don’t know why people feel so negative about cinemas here,” he said.

The Works Minister, referring to television, said that now-a-days the cinemas are now in every home. “The television is itself a cinema. Your mobile phone in your pocket is also a cinema. I don’t know why we are being stopped from going into cinema hall,” he said, adding that “our government would definitely take steps towards restoration of cinemas” in Kashmir.

“But unless and until all the people of society join hands, it won’t happen. For how long we will keep our children away from genuine entertainment,” the Minister asked. Pertinently, all the cinemas across Kashmir were closed following eruption of armed militancy 27 years by militant outfits. The attempts to restore these cinema halls have failed so far due to militant threats. (GNS)

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