Pakistani artistes find support back home after returning from India following threats
October 07, 2016, 4:55 pm
R Umaima Ahmed
By the end of September, tensions gained momentum at the LoC border, which resulted in 2 Pakistani soldiers killed in alleged “surgical strikes”, as claimed by the Indian army.
The resulting negative feelings however, did not remain limited to the border area but also poured into the arts and culture sector too.
Pakistani artistes had to bear the brunt of the negativity towards Pakistan being spread by the extremist ‘Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’ (MSN) of India.
The artistes were given an ultimatum to leave India in 48 hours or face dire consequences. So they returned home from the biggest democracy of the world.
Soon reactions from both sides of the borders started flying in the air. Salman Khan, Karan Johar and Om Puri, who were against the banning of Pakistani artistes, had to pay a heavy price for siding with them.
On the other hand Shahrukh Khan, Adnan Sami and many others supported Indian military and the alleged “surgical strikes”.
The reaction from Pakistan however, was different as everyone tried to play it very cool despite being upset at the whole chaos.
The Nation spoke to a number of artists and peace activists to get their take on the reaction from across the border.
Mekaal Hassan, a leading Pakistani musician, who has more Indian members in his band than Pakistani said, “I only want to know why a petty extremist party in India is getting so much attention. Why can’t they handle their own extremists instead of raising fingers at Pakistan? Fawad Khan was earning money in India by legal means. If the Indian government had given him a work permit and he also paid tax on his earnings, how can an extremist group threaten artists and force them to leave the country. This episode has exposed the world’s largest democracy.
“India’s extremist party has also stated that Fawad is earning money from them and would give it to ISI or Hafiz Saeed. This is such an absurd statement that is equivalent to saying Naseer ud Din Shah and Om Puri are earning in Pakistan for RAW and the Indian Army. If you have proof that Fawad Khan is paying to any extremist element or ISI in Pakistan please bring it forward. ”
While speaking to The Nation Jawad Ahmed said, “Even though artistes are ambassadors of a country they are not unlike businessmen, wherever they find a good project they grab it. Those who were working in India, for them India was important not the other way round. These artistes have gained fame due to the Indian market and they should be thankful to them for bringing them to this position. If their return is such an issue then they should not have gone in the first place.”
Gohar Aftab, a peace activist and director of CFx Comics said, “Governments of India and Pakistan have always had their highs and lows but Uri Attack has changed the dynamics a bit. Most of the people on both sides of the border are peace loving and don’t want war to erupt, but extremist elements also exists. Due to Media hype the extremist groups in India have become very active and have resorted to this level. The hype has been built to such a position that now their extremist groups are out of control. India Government needs to step in and tackle things sensibly otherwise things in Pakistan can get out of control.”
Qamar Naseem a peace activist and founder of Blue Veins said, “There is nothing new when it comes to hostility between India and Pakistan, but matters get very disturbing when its wrath is faced by the promoters of peace. Art and culture is one of the basic foundations of a country, Pakistan and India are rich in their respective cultures. It’s a pity that the art industry on both sides has to suffer Cultural terrorism in this war madness.”
Tasneem Peerzada, a journalist and activist who is very upset about the reaction from India said, “It’s unfortunate that Pakistani actors had to face such hooligans in India. This behavior is nothing new in India. We have to realize that artistes are only entertaining you, why hate them for things that bring peace between the two countries? The recent incident is shameful and who are these extremists to stop artistes from performing. We have so many artistes coming to Pakistan from India and they never had to face such things then why should our people be treated in such a manner?”
Sadaan Peerzada co-founder of Rafi Peer Theater Workshop said, “Extremists are not letting sanity prevail. People should know that these artistes are the ones who take your culture and history around the world. Many Indian artistes have visited Pakistan and no one ever faces such issues. In November around 50 Indians will be visiting Pakistan and I did not think once that we should not be applying for their visas. These political decisions should not interfere with our industry.” These steps of India show how undemocratic they are.”
Pakistan’s famous singer Umair Jaswal said, “Artistes have nothing to do with politics. It was very irrational of them to react like this with the artistes. We could easily do the same with the trade and arts and culture etc. but then things will escalate and lead to more friction between the two countries.”
Both the governments need to take logical steps to ease down the tensions rather than pushing the country into a war. Artistes are always willing to bridge the gap between two hostile nations but it’s unfortunate that they are also being pulled into the war hysteria.
Salman Khan comes out in support of Pakistani artistes being forced to leave India
September 30, 2016, 3:17 pm
In response to MNS threats against Pakistani artistes working in India which resulted in Pakistani actors abandoning ongoing projects and leaving the country, Salman Khan has come out in support of Pakistani artistes.
In a statement, Salman is reported to have said that Pakistani artistes arrived and were working in India having the appropriate documents to allow them to work in India and were not terrorists. He said that while he supports actions the Indian army took against terrorists, Pakistani artistes are not terrorists.
“In this day and age if we live in peace it is better for everyone especially the common man,” Salman said in response to a question.
Khan also spoke about maintaining peaceful relations between the two countries and that the president of MNS should allow the release of ‘Raees’ starring Mahira Khan and ‘Ae dil hai mushkil’, starring Fawad Khan, peacefully.
Khan issued this statement in light of Indian Motion Pictures Association’s (IMPA) resolution to bar all Pakistani actors, artistes and technicians from working in Bollywood. The resolution was announced hours after the Indian army attacked Pakistani soldiers across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, claiming that they had conducted “surgical strikes” in Pakistan.
A few days ago, Director Karan Johar too had come out in support of Pakistani actors saying that banning Pakistani actors was not a solution to anything; in response to which extremists staged a sit in outside his residence.