Pakistani moviegoers arrive at a cinema to watch the 2010 Bollywood film My Name is Khan in Karachi. A decades-old ban on Indian films screening in Pakistan was lifted in 2006. Rizwan Tabassum / AFP
Pakistani moviegoers arrive at a cinema to watch the 2010 Bollywood film My Name is Khan in Karachi. A decades-old ban on Indian films screening in Pakistan was lifted in 2006. Rizwan Tabassum / AFP

Bollywood provides life support to Pakistan’s film industry

Despite border skirmishes and neighbourly acrimony, Bollywood films continue to provide a lifeline to Pakistan’s film industry, says leading filmmaker Jamshed Mahmood Raza.

“It’s very simple: we are cousins,” says Raza. “We share the same language. We share the same songs. We had cinemas, but we were not making films. New cinema spaces emerged because of Bollywood. Once this happened, the filmmakers were ready. We can’t make films if there are no cinemas to screen them. Bollywood is still giving CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] to our industry.”

Raza, whose new film Moor has been selected as Pakistan's official entry for the Academy Awards, was screened at the 46th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in November.

Moor, which means mother in Pashtun, is set in the terror-ridden region of northern Balochistan in Pakistan, where some families are run by women who single-handedly stand up to the mafia and fight ­corruption.

“My film might feel slightly abstract for the Pakistani audience. Critically, it’s one of the best, but financially it’s probably the worst right now. Moor was not seen as a film for the masses – and so we were allotted 11am matinée timings. I mean, nobody ever comes to a cinema on a weekday at 11am. We were sidelined and marked as an art film,” said Raza.

Witty to a fault, Raza said this probably was why the film was selected as Pakistan’s entry for the Oscars.

"Well, if you look at all the last Oscar entries, only Whiplash and a few others made money. It's interesting – if you don't make money, it is pretty much of a guarantee that you will make the Oscar entry," he says.

Dressed in jeans and a black kurta, the tall, bearded and balding Raza looks a lot like Rohit Shetty, the Indian director with a flair for over-the-top films. But the comparison between the two directors ends when Raza mentions the influence legendary American director Stanley Kubrick has had on his work.

“My story is not the kind you hear from Bollywood or Lollywood. I was trained in an American film school. I loved Kubrick and in Pakistan not many people understood him,” says Raza.

It also explains why he chose to film part of the movie in the war-torn region of Balochistan, where the film is set.

“Balochistan is sensitive. We have Taliban insurgencies going on there, too. It was tough working there, but it was secure in a way because we went through many security agencies.

“The army and the government were really protecting us because we had an American with us, a Pakistani-American, and they don’t want any kidnapping cases,” he says.

Raza, who is a fan of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, is strongly critical of Pakistan’s policy to ban Indian films, pointing out that in 1971, when Pakistan introduced a ban on Bollywood films from being shown in local cinemas, it sounded the death knell for the Pakistani film industry.

“In 1971 we banned Indian films [it was lifted in 2006], and our industry was destroyed – but not the Indian industry,” he says.

But hope is still there, says Raza: there are signs of a cultural revival all over the Pakistan. “So many bands are coming back, so many films are being made, so many cinema halls are coming up. There is definitely a change on cards,” says the filmmaker.



Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000


Marquee players:
Moeen Ali, Andre Russell, Dawid Malan, Wanindu Hasiranga, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis, Colin Munro, Fabien Allen, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dushmantha Chameera, Shimron Hetmyer, Akeal Hosein, Chris Jordan, Tom Banton, Sandeep Lamichhane, Chris Lynn, Rovman Powell, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Mujeeb Ul Rahman
International players:
Lahiru Kumara, Seekugge Prassanna, Charith Asalanka, Colin Ingram, Paul Stirling, Kennar Lewis, Ali Khan, Brandon Glover, Ravi Rampaul, Raymon Reifer, Isuru Udana, Blessing Muzarabani, Niroshan Dickwella, Hazaratullah Zazai, Frederick Klassen, Sikandar Raja, George Munsey, Dan Lawrence, Dominic Drakes, Jamie Overton, Liam Dawson, David Wiese, Qais Ahmed, Richard Gleeson, James Vince, Noor Ahmed, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Navin Ul Haq, Sherfane Rutherford, Saqib Mahmood, Ben Duckett, Benny Howell, Ruben Trumpelman

UAE squad

Humaira Tasneem (c), Chamani Senevirathne (vc), Subha Srinivasan, NIsha Ali, Udeni Kuruppuarachchi, Chaya Mughal, Roopa Nagraj, Esha Oza, Ishani Senevirathne, Heena Hotchandani, Keveesha Kumari, Judith Cleetus, Chavi Bhatt, Namita D’Souza.


UAE fixtures

Monday, June 19

Sri Lanka v UAE, Queen’s Sports Club

Wednesday, June 21

Oman v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Friday, June 23

Scotland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Tuesday, June 27

Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and

Film: In Syria
Dir: Philippe Van Leeuw
Starring: Hiam Abbass, Diamand Bo Abboud, Mohsen Abbas and Juliette Navis
Verdict: Four stars


Rajasthan Royals 158-8 (20 ovs)
Kings XI Punjab 143/7 (20 ovs)

Rajasthan Royals won by 15 runs


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Libya's Gold

UN Panel of Experts found regime secretly sold a fifth of the country's gold reserves.

The panel’s 2017 report followed a trail to West Africa where large sums of cash and gold were hidden by Abdullah Al Senussi, Qaddafi’s former intelligence chief, in 2011.

Cases filled with cash that was said to amount to $560m in 100 dollar notes, that was kept by a group of Libyans in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

A second stash was said to have been held in Accra, Ghana, inside boxes at the local offices of an international human rights organisation based in France.

The specs: 2018 Renault Koleos

Price, base: From Dh77,900
Engine: 2.5L, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 170hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 233Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 8.3L / 100km


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Brief scores:

Everton 0

Leicester City 1

Vardy 58'

Abu Dhabi race card

5pm Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic Prestige Dh110,000 1,400m

5.30pm Abu Dhabi Colts Classic Prestige Dh110,000 1,400m

6pm Abu Dhabi Championship Listed Dh180,000 1,600m

6.30pm Maiden Dh80,000 1,600m

7pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap Dh80,000 1,400m

7.30pm Handicap (TB) |Dh100,000 2,400m

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Match info:

Real Betis v Sevilla, 10.45pm (UAE)

Young women have more “financial grit”, but fall behind on investing

In an October survey of young adults aged 16 to 25, Charles Schwab found young women are more driven to reach financial independence than young men (67 per cent versus. 58 per cent). They are more likely to take on extra work to make ends meet and see more value than men in creating a plan to achieve their financial goals. Yet, despite all these good ‘first’ measures, they are investing and saving less than young men – falling early into the financial gender gap.

While the women surveyed report spending 36 per cent less than men, they have far less savings than men ($1,267 versus $2,000) – a nearly 60 per cent difference.

In addition, twice as many young men as women say they would invest spare cash, and almost twice as many young men as women report having investment accounts (though most young adults do not invest at all). 

“Despite their good intentions, young women start to fall behind their male counterparts in savings and investing early on in life,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president, Charles Schwab. “They start off showing a strong financial planning mindset, but there is still room for further education when it comes to managing their day-to-day finances.”

Ms Schwab-Pomerantz says parents should be conveying the same messages to boys and girls about money, but should tailor those conversations based on the individual and gender.

"Our study shows that while boys are spending more than girls, they also are saving more. Have open and honest conversations with your daughters about the wage and savings gap," she said. "Teach kids about the importance of investing – especially girls, who as we see in this study, aren’t investing as much. Part of being financially prepared is learning to make the most of your money, and that means investing early and consistently."

Mina Cup winners

Under 12 – Minerva Academy

Under 14 – Unam Pumas

Under 16 – Fursan Hispania

Under 18 – Madenat