Should Pakistan reciprocate India's ban on artistes? Here's what our actors think

Should Pakistan reciprocate India's ban on artistes? Here's what our actors think

Continued tensions between the two countries causes Pakistani artistes to speak up
30 Sep, 2016

The Uri attack, coupled with the recent killing of two Pakistani soldiers at LoC, have caused a furore among people from India and Pakistan. Now that the Indian Association has banned Pakistani talent from working in India and some Pakistani cinemas have pulled down Bollywood films from the screens, tempers on both sides are running high.

While many in India are vehemently opposing Pakistani artistes working in their country, the Bollywood fraternity has witnessed a mix of views on the matter thus far. On this side of the border, however, after maintaining silence over the issue, a few spoke to Images voicing their concern.

As is always the case, Hamza Ali Abbasi was the first to comment on the affair. In a Facebook post, the Mann Mayal actor asked his fellow Pakistanis to boycott all Indian content.

When asked about the recent ban, the actor said, "Our actors should stop going to Bollywood. If anyone comes from there we should welcome them as we are more mature and civilised people than them. If a dog bites you, you don't bite the dog back."

Mein Hari Piya actor Agha Ali, too, is of the same opinion and said he wished this had been done a lot sooner.

"I think it should've been done a long time ago. We have to be on the same page in every aspect now before we allow it all again. I'm super happy."

However, like most Bollywood celebs, Sajal Aly believes that art should not be muddled with politics.

She said, "Art is a form free from race, creed, ethnicity and all biases and prejudices. It's not tied by any division. We must understand this when we talk about work collaboration of artists."

The Humsafar actor Atiqa Odho was disconcerted by the idea. "It's unfortunate if India takes such a position as we have always allowed their content and talent in Pakistan."

Azfar Rehman of Sitamgar, held the same view as Sajal, "Artists are soft targets, artists are ambassadors of peace around the world, hats off to artists of both the countries who have crossed the border to give and receive love.

"Let's not curb the love, let's not curb the art, let's not stop the exchange of love. Please let our governments decide what should be the political scenario but let's not make artists suffer. Don't make them a target."

When approached, many local artistes refused to comment on the matter.

Tensions in India have escalated to a high degree, so much so that Shafqat Amanat Ali and Atif Aslam's concerts were called off in India by their respective organisers.