“The size of the screen was said to be 8ft by 10ft."
According to reports, Pathaan is being screened in Karachi, despite not being officially released in Pakistan.
In February 2019, the organisation of cinema exhibitors in Pakistan decided not to screen any Indian films in response to Indian planes violating Pakistani airspace rules.
Since then, no Indian film has been formally released in Pakistan.
But in now-deleted Facebook posts, an advertisement was posted on at least two prominent pages, selling Pathaan tickets for Rs. 900 (£2.70).
Soon after, interested customers were asking about the film quality, where the screening would be held and how many other guests would be turning up.
A customer who asked about the film quality during the screening was told by event planners: “not HD, but good and clear”.
A second customer said: “The size of the screen was said to be 8ft by 10ft.”
Another customer was told that the screen “is a projector screen”.
When asked if the venue was going to provide food and drinks or if guests should bring their own, the event planners said that food and drink items would be available during the screening.
It all seemed legitimate until customers received a notification that the Facebook page no longer exists when they went back to one of the two Facebook postings offering tickets.
However, the second Facebook page promoting the Pathaan screening in Karachi was still available and drawing users.
Some individuals also questioned why a divisive Hindi film was being screened in Karachi despite its ban, but customers were all given a contact number if they had any further questions.
The company organising the screening is named Firework Events, but after searching the name on social media, customers could only find a UK-based company.
Then the page announced that they were all sold out for their first screening on January 29, 2023.
On January 30, 2023, due to high demand, the company was going to organise two extra shows, from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm and 8 pm to 11 pm.
Customers were told that venues would change on different days of the screening.
Only one venue was disclosed to guests over the phone which was Karachi’s Khayaban-i-Shahbaz commercial area, the other location remained a secret.
Reportedly, after one guest called the contact number, a young female voice with a fake American accent said:
“There is some construction happening at the place we hoped to screen the movie on Sunday so we don’t know yet.”
However, the event planner then messaged customers to announce that screenings for January 30 were being moved to February 3, 2023.
The venue for the February 3 viewing was confirmed as Karachi’s Ittehad commercial area.