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Mahira Khan says Bollywood was never her aim

Mahira Khan
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News Desk |

Mahira Khan, in her latest interview to BBC ‘HardTalk’ said Bollywood was never her aim.  The movie was released a few months after political tensions escalated between Indian and Pakistan.

She in her interview spoke of the impact the political tensions between India and Pakistan have on the entertainment industry. ‘Raees’ was released in January 2017, just a few months after September 18, 2016, Uri attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers. Tensions intensified when India blamed Pakistan’s military for this attack.

The attack on the Indian soldiers fuelled aggressive reactions from India as ruling party invoked countrywide protests against Pakistan. Banning Pakistani celebrities from working in Indian film industry was to be a part of that protest. Mahira Khan was barred from participating in post-promotional activities of the film. Her film was resultantly banned from screening in Pakistan.

Read more: Mahira Khan declares misogyny and sexual harassment acts of power abuse

“At that time I was angry. I was sad and angry and there were moments of disappointment and just hurt, you know. Now I’ve come to a place where I believe that anger doesn’t really make me a better actor. It doesn’t do anything for me as a person, so I’ve let go of that because at that time I was in the mix of it,” said Mahira.

“Bollywood was never really the aim actually. I mean sure you could argue that I could have done more films there, for sure I could have. But right after ‘Raees’, I had already started working on (Pakistani film) ‘Verna’, even before all of this happened. My focus was always Pakistan,” she said.

She said, she started working on ‘Verna’ even before ‘Raees’ was released. She said that Pakistan has always been her priority. “Currently I just feel it’s just something else to be working and be part of this movement of the film industry (in Pakistan) at the moment.

“Because how I look at it, is that 20 years from now when either my son or kids from today want to become actors, we would have set this industry for them, which they won’t have to struggle so much.

Read more: Mahira Khan honored at UK Asian Film Festival 2018

Mahira said: “I don’t think that I can tell any story better than the story of my own country, than the stories of my own countrymen. I want to be able to bring out stories like ‘Verna’, as well as stories which are of the modern and new generation like ‘Ho Mann Jahaan’, which is a film I did of the youth of Pakistan. So I want to be that person.

Also, because we are artists, I think that’s a problem we all suffer. We are dreamers, so we are constantly looking at this is going to happen, and this is honestly all I am thinking about all the time, that one day I will go to a cinema house and there just won’t be enough space to fill it.”


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