Pakistani actor Mahira Khan opened up about the ban on Pakistani artistes in the Indian film industry and revealed that she had to let go of some opportunities on Indian digital platforms because she was 'scared'. She, and Azaan Sami Khan also talked about their latest collaboration, a song titled Tu.
In an interview with Film Companion, Mahira said that a great opportunity for collaboration for the entire subcontinent was lost due to the ban, but she remains hopeful.
"I guess, having experienced it firsthand, it’s just sad. When I think about it… I mean, we have all moved on. That’s what we do, if we don’t have this, we do something else. That’s what happens. But I feel like a great opportunity for the entire subcontinent to come together and collaborate was lost. I think it might happen again. Who knows?" she said.
Mahira, who made her Bollywood debut with the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees, will feature in an upcoming series on Zee5 as a narrator for one of the short stories. Talking about other digital projects, she revealed that she had to turn down projects out of fear. "A lot of the other series were offered to me and at that time… I don’t know if anybody will understand when I say this, I was scared. I was genuinely just scared. It wasn’t about what people say, I was just like, ‘I don’t know if I want to go there.’ And there was some content which was amazing, and I didn’t want to miss out on it," she said.
Mahira Khan also turns co-producer with Nina Kashif for a cricket-themed web series titled Baarwan Khilaadi.
Adding that she is not ashamed to admit that she was afraid, she said, "Now I am a bit more like, ‘No, come on yaar, you can’t let something that happened, which was political, affect your choices.’ So I don’t think I will do that anymore and I hope that we collaborate, even if it's on digital or in any way."
The All India Cine Workers Association had announced a blanket ban on Pakistani artists after tensions escalated between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack in 2019. Even in 2016, the Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association banned Pakistani artists, and technicians from working in Indian cinema, after the Uri attack.
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