Islamabad, February 26 (Express Tribune): Despite the ‘ban’, Bollywood’s veteran director Mahesh Bhatt is all set to bring Pakistani artistes back to India.
According to a report in Daily News and Analyses Mahesh Bhatt apparently approached Ali Zafar and offered him a song on the theme of cross-border peace. And the Channo singer reportedly agreed ‘enthusiastically’. After Ali, Mahesh talked to Fuzon’s former lead-man, Shafqat Amanat Ali, and he, too, readily agreed.
A Delhi-based actor Imran Zahid, who is also a part of the same project, told the same publication: “Every Pakistani artiste Bhatt Saab has approached has responded enthusiastically. Shafqat Amanat Ali’s manager said he doesn’t want any money for this song. We are also working on getting Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam on board.”
Talking about the unofficial ban on the Pakistani artistes in India, Imran said, “We are going to use the voices of the Pakistani artistes, for a play called Milne Do which will be staged in Delhi on June 8 and Mumbai on June 23. Furthermore, the Indian government has clarified that it has not banned Pakistani artistes. When the government has taken a clear stand on the issue, what chance do the protesters stand?”
Imran went on to say, “[Mahesh] Bhatt Saab is not new to protests. Dialogue with Pakistan must re-start on a cultural level. The Delhi government is supporting our endeavor and in West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has extended support to our mission.”
However, BJP spokesperson Shaina NC is clear on the issue.
“Relations with Pakistan have deteriorated to such an extent that there is a move now to declare Pakistan a terror state on an international level. Given the current crisis I don’t think we can have Pakistani artistes coming here.”
As tensions between India and Pakistan are at an all time high last year, many artistes have held back from supporting peace but Mahesh Bhatt, like his movies is different from the rest.
The producer went on his social media and shared his thoughts on the sheer importance of ‘talks’ over ‘terror’. He tweeted, “Do not let the actions of a few violent men write the future of many people, like me who want peace. #KillTerroristsNotTalks #ProfileForPeace.”
(The featured picture at the top is that of Indian film maker Mahesh Bhatt)