Pakistani actor Mahira Khan, who made her Bollywood debut with Raees in 2017, has opened up about the ban on Pakistani artists in the Indian film industry. She has revealed that her web range will be offered which will stream on Indian digital platforms but will let it go because she is ‘scared’.
Speaking to Film Companion, Mahira said: ‘I think it’s just sad after experiencing it first hand. When I think about it … I mean, we all moved on. This is what we do, if we do not have it, we do something else. This is what happens. But I feel a wonderful opportunity for the whole subcontinent to come together and work together has been lost. I think it could happen again. Who knows?”
Mahira, who will tell one of the short stories in an upcoming Zee5 series, said she received offers for other digital projects, but turned them down. ‘Many of the other series were presented to me and at that time … I do not know if anyone would understand it if I said that, I was scared. I was really just scared. It’s not about what people say, I was just like, ‘I do not know if I want to go there.’ “And there was an incredible amount of content, and I did not want to miss it,” she said.
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‘But I was scared and had no shame in admitting it. Now I’m a little more like, ‘No, come on, you can’ t let something that happened, that was political, affect your choices. ‘ I therefore do not think I will do it anymore and I hope that we will work together, whether it is digital or in any way, ”she added.
After the Uri attack in 2016, Pakistani artists were banned from working in Bollywood. The All Indian Cine Workers Association announced a total ban on Pakistani artists following the Pulwama terrorist attack in 2019. Mahira made her Bollywood debut in 2017 with Raees, but was unable to travel to India to promote her film. It remains her only Indian release so far.