An advertising poster for an Indian film is seen outside a movie theater in Karachi, Pakistan, September 30, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
Major Pakistani cinemas have stopped screening Indian films as recent tensions between the two neighboring countries over the disputed Kashmir region spill into the world of Bollywood.
The retaliatory move came after the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) banned Pakistani actors, singers and technicians from working on Indian films.
Pakistan's Film Exhibitors and Distributors group criticized the IMPPA for the decision.
"It is deeply regrettable that … the IMPPA has passed a resolution to ban Pakistani stars and technicians from working in India," the group said in a statement late on Friday.
"(Following) the IMPPA decision... the majority stake holders of the (Pakistani) film industry have decided to suspend the screening of all Indian films until normalcy returns," it added.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have been simmering for months but were ratcheted up after New Delhi said on Wednesday that it had carried out “surgical strikes” against militants across the de facto borderline, known as the Line of Control (LoC), which divides the disputed region of Kashmir.
The Pakistani military, however, rejected such claims and said, “There has been no surgical strike by India.”
Indian policemen stand guard in a deserted street during a curfew in Srinagar, Kashmir’s main city, September 30, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
Islamabad also said on Thursday that two of its soldiers had been killed in an exchange of fire with Indian troops across the LoC.
Both Indian and Pakistani celebrities have taken sides in the row over the past week.
Indian film star Salman Khan was criticized on social media when he reportedly said that Pakistani artists should not be equated with terrorists.
Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt received a similar roasting when he posted an image of himself calling for peace.
"Sadly, there isn't much difference in the level of sanity on both sides," said Pakistani media website Mango Baaz.
A majority of Pakistani cinemas had been showing Indian movies and many Pakistani singers and film actors had been playing in the Indian films in an attempt to improve people-to-people contact between the two countries.

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