Published Mar 18, 2017 03:04pm

Pakistanis are as terrified of terrorism as anyone else in the world: Kalki Koechlin

What surprised her most was the 'openness' with which she was received here.
What surprised her most was the 'openness' with which she was received here.

Kalki Koechlin's visit to Pakistan last year was an eye-opening experience for the actor.

At the India Today Conclave 2017, the actor spoke about how her views on the Pak-India issue were initially based around the friction between the two countries, but upon visiting Pakistan to work on her documentary Azmaish, a collaboration with Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar, her perspective changed -- something she was hoping for.

"I think it was my neutrality on the subject [that I chose the project]; I didn’t have a particularly strong standpoint on the whole India-Pakistan issue."

"From my point of view, I accepted the project out of curiosity. I had never been to Pakistan and I only knew India and Pakistan in terms of conflicts," she said. "I wanted to see another aspect, perhaps, a more human aspect."

During her visit she noticed a lot of similarities between the neighbouring countries and said that the the two things that unify Pakistan and India are cricket and Bollywood.

“Bollywood is huge in Pakistan. People recognised me because of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Even with India, a lot of us are unified because of movies. People of northeast India speak Hindi because of Bollywood,” she said.

The actor travelled to various cities and villages in Pakistan and connected the culture here to what she sees back home. "In places like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, I could draw so many similarities between the rural parts of Pakistan in terms of the conservative way to look at women who are voiceless. I also saw how power and religion work closely with each other."

"Once you remove ideologies, you start seeing the people and their struggles. Pakistanis are as terrified of terrorism as anyone else in the world."

What surprised her most was the 'openness' with which she was received here. "A lot of things surprised me. One thing that I loved was their curiosity because there’s very little outside influence in Pakistan vis-a-vis India. The openness with which they met me was very surprising."

Talking about her documentary Azmaish - Trials of Life, she said, "In the documentary, we had set up a fashion show. Hundreds of men had come to watch the show. We asked these men what they thought about their Pakistani women being models. They said they were happy to see them. When we asked how they would like it if their wives were doing this, they said their leaders will slit their throats. It was said in a tone which meant that things were not going to change."

For the documentary, Sumar and Koechlin are travelling through India and Pakistan, and "exploring the two countries through their lifestyles, religious dynamics, and violence stemming from extremism."

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ripan Mar 18, 2017 03:45pm

kalki is a fine actress,she would have been a huge star if she was an eye candy like kareena,katrina or priyanka but I am afraid in India we tend to go for the "so called" external beauty. Even saying that makes me an hypocrite,I know

Asif A Shah Mar 18, 2017 03:47pm

The people in Pakistan want to live as good neighbor with India. The politicians of India and Pakistan should resolve their outstanding issues and live as good neighbors based on mutual respect of each other's rights. I am glad that Indian actress Kalki Koechlin saw Pakistanies for what are:hospitable.

Prateik Mar 18, 2017 05:05pm

This means the political class of Pakistan doesn't care about the insecurities of a common Pakistan citizen.

ga Mar 18, 2017 06:36pm

@Prateik - It's the same in India judging from the slums and abject poverty.

mohinder sandhu Mar 18, 2017 06:43pm

@Asif A Shah people of pakistan wants to live in peace and with respect is very much true,just like any other country.

ramdar Mar 18, 2017 08:12pm

@Asif A Shah ''The politicians of India and Pakistan should resolve their outstanding issues'' the only way to resolve is to freeze the sentimental issues for next 25 years. Till then, donot expect, donot try, any change in political status of divided Kashmir. Hopefully south Asia will get over the fanaticism by then, making it easier to allow a change if required.

Zak Mar 18, 2017 09:03pm

I hope you can do same for IOK and take up the cause for their plebiscite, to end the suffering for all.

Bollywood Mar 18, 2017 09:41pm

She is out of film industry because of her nonsense comments. Possibly trying to get some work in Pakistani film.

haroon Mar 18, 2017 10:44pm

We dont need her endorsement or her 'helping' statements. She can be told not to talk about us.

yaqut khan Mar 18, 2017 11:49pm

@Asif A Shah the peace will prevail when indai will leave kashmir.

zafar Mar 19, 2017 01:09am

Its their problem to fix, we don't care. we'll just send few sympathetic words or not.

Khan Mar 19, 2017 04:33am

Why do we care so much about what Indian celebs think of Pakistan?

hakim Mar 19, 2017 04:50am

@ripan Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I'd say her natural look is more attractive than any of the others you have mentioned.

Combine this with her humanity and openness and you would'nt be comparing anymore.

muhammad waqas ahmed Mar 19, 2017 05:42am

@Prateik Same like India Pak Govt dont care, in pak they even care about tourists and foriegners coming here but I am sad on hearing news now and then that Irish lady murdered after reapped in Goa, dozen of such stories in Ind,

Sam Mar 19, 2017 05:47am

@Asif A Shah If politicians on both side resolve their issue, that would be career suicide. :)

Harinath Mar 19, 2017 07:07am

Interesting news. yah, I agree. I think most of the people who make statements or have views because of media reports that try to make people decisive against other country.

We are brothers, at time we may fight, but that doesn't change the relationship.

Simba Mar 19, 2017 08:31am

going to Pakistan for self promotion and 'bhav' ? There is nothing in this interview that common people don't know. Everybody knows that every Pakistani is NOT a terrorist or India hater, and that aspirations of common people are same - world over.

riz Mar 19, 2017 09:31am

@ripan she also have intellect as well, which you probably don't need at all to become no. 1.. when you start thinking (like her and Kangna) you see lots of soulless and empty people around you and this bother you more than anything,,,

patriot Mar 19, 2017 06:57pm

Pakistanis are known for their hospitality, any doubt, just visit us once.

Jaydeep Mar 20, 2017 02:03am

@ga So There is no poverty in Pakistan .

Akil Akhtar Mar 20, 2017 04:56am

She will get in trouble with indian media....

TechScribe Mar 20, 2017 12:13pm

I like Kalki. She is a frenchwoman who has made it big in bollywood.

D.K. PAMNANI -INDIA Mar 20, 2017 12:50pm

She is unfamous actress in India. Her acting skills are Nil. I do not know who has made her actress. If she want to stay in Pakistan, let her go and stay there.

Divakar Mar 20, 2017 04:43pm

@patriot : yes, two gentlemen returned just today after a "wonderful" trip.