The decision of Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan to disband the governing body of the Alhamra Arts Council and order production companies to get scripts approved in advance by the government has drawn criticism on social media by those who see the move as an onslaught on freedom of expression and censoring art. National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) Repertory Theatre Karachi director Zain Ahmed tweeted: “Control and suppression. Naya Pakistan.” Actor Vasay Chaudhry wrote: “But wernt they always “Govt approved ” at Alhamra,as far as i remember we always use to give a censor copy for the authorities,gave one for the first time in 2000.” Activist Ammar Rashid? also took to Twitter to speak against the government’s decision: “So now a government body appointed by narrow-minded bigot & Mumtaz Qadri supporter Fayaz Chohan will decide what art is allowed to be performed at Alhamra. What an almighty joke.” Chohan had announced on Tuesday that the move was to prohibit showcasing of “poor quality” theatre plays at the arts council, adding that only “well written and good” plays will be approved for performance at Alhamra. In addition, the organisers will now have to submit PKR 10,000 as a security deposit in advance. Published in Daily Times, December 6th 2018.