Activists Call for Ban on a Documentary Starring Pervaiz Musharraf
Pakistani activists in the UK have called for a ban on the screening of documentary Insha’Allah Democracy (still to be featured) at the ongoing Human Rights Watch’s Film Festival in London.
Filmmaker Mohammed Ali Naqvi, who has worked on Insha’Allah Democracy, is known to use his work to explore perilous subjects. His last film, Among the Believers, was about Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi, head of the Lal Masjid mujahideen training base; a Special Emmy-winning project and before that it was on the international human rights icon and gang-rape survivor Mukhtaran Mai.
For his documentary on Musharraf, Insha’Allah Democracy, Naqvi has shadowed the former dictator and Army general for five years, as the man readied for a political comeback while living in Dubai and London.
The documentary, which heavily features former Pakistani President Pervez Musharaf, takes the viewer on the director Mohammed Ali Naqvi’s personal journey of voting in the past Pakistani election as he discovers if “democracy is achievable in a country undergoing political and religious upheaval.”
Activists who have petitioned Human Rights Watch to cancel the film’s screening claim that the film “legitimizes and glorifies military dictatorial rules and undermines civilian/parliament supremacy”.
Naqvi, however, shared in a press release that “had they seen the film, the petitioners would know that Insha’Allah Democracy is critical of military rule and actually advocates Pakistan’s journey towards democracy.”
“I have come to expect Pakistan’s Film Censor Board to ban my films. They banned my previous film Among The Believers. However, this time it was activists who tried to have my latest film Insha’Allah Democracy censored. They were trying to silence me without even having watched the film,” he added.
Watch the trailer here
The Inshallah Democracy screening is taking place at HRW film festival’s venues today and tomorrow. While Naqvi plans to bring the film to Pakistan in the summer.