Ban on Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan should be lifted, says Mahesh Bhatt

Courtesy  Bollywoodlife

After Pakistan permits the release of Indian films, Mahesh Bhatt feels we should lift the ban on Pakistani artistes too…

A few months ago, Pakistani artistes including Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar and Mahira Khan were banned from working in India. This decision was taken in the wake of the devastating Uri attacks. Several filmmakers including Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt opposed this move, however they finally relented. On the other hand, Pakistan banned the release of Indian films in their country too. However, a few days back, they overturned the ban and now Dangal is all set to release in Pakistan. So should we reciprocate by lifting the ban on Pakistani artistes too? Mahesh Bhatt thinks so, but he feels his opinion may not count since he is “in the minority.” As the filmmaker told Mid-day, “The idea of it could incur the wrath of political parties. The Central government has to come up with a solution, if they wish to rebuild relations razed to the ground prior to the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. In my opinion, cultural space must be kept alive; the government needs to deal with terrorism in a different way.”

Talking about Pakistan’s decision to lift the ban on Indian films, Mahesh added, “Banning Indian films reflected the shortsightedness of the Pakistan Film Federation. It was reckless of them to indulge in politics. Because of their decision (not to screen Hindi films), their theatres were shutting down. Our contribution to their industry was immense and that boosted their business much more than indigenous content could. Eventually, one can’t deny the countries are tied culturally and emotionally.”

However, political parties are still not ready to overturn the ban. Ameya Khopkar (Head, film wing of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) was quoted saying, “We are not concerned about their decision. Pakistan has always created havoc in our country. Till terror attacks don’t stop completely, we are not going to relent.”

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