DUBAI: Pakistani actress Mehwish Hayat recently attended the Filmfare Middle East magazine relaunch in Dubai this weekend, where she received the ‘Pakistani Icon’ award.
As she took the stage to accept her award, Hayat extended a warm hand towards India saying that she wishes for the day when her films will be screened in India like Bollywood films are screened in Pakistan.
“I would love for Indian friends to come visit us in my homeland and see the love people have for them,” said Mehwish.
“I think too much emphasis has been put on the role for artists and films in building bridges between our two nations. No matter what the people may want, the past year’s events have shown that 70 years of history and deep political issues will always get in the way. This is much more than casting actors from across the border in each other’s films. I long for the day when people in India can freely see my movies in their country, just as Indian films are played in my country.”
Along with Mehwish Hayat, Fawad Khan was also present at the event where he received the Best Cinematic Icon Pakistan/India award.
Javed Sheikh and Hasnain Lehri also attended the event.
The event brought together artists from India and Pakistan on neutral grounds, despite bans on Pakistani artists. The ban on Pakistani artists has long been in effect and every now and then, there are fresh calls for a complete ban on this cross-border exchange. Just last month, the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) refused to withdraw its ban on Pakistani artists working in India.
The ban came about two years ago, right before the release of Fawad Khan’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Mahira Khan’s Raees alongside Shah Rukh Khan.
However, artists continue to interact with one another and Fawad Khan was spotted spending time with Karan Johar and Manish Malhotra at the event. Just this weekend, Nandita Das, Vinay Pathak and Bahubali director SS Rajamouli attended the first Pakistan International Film Festival which was held in Karachi from March 29 to April 1.