This year’s Karachi Literature Festival had some eminent names in the panel, who shared their views on the present state of affairs. Among these was the hit filmmaking duo, Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza, who were asked about their take on the recently enforced ban on Indian films and content, bearing in mind the current predicament in the country.
“Obviously, everything depends on the country’s conditions, and the current circumstances demand for a ban against Indian content, which is fine. I’m sure when circumstances improve, then probably the ban will be lifted. Meanwhile, Pakistani movies are being released, everyone should watch and support them,” said Qureshi.
Keeping in view the amount of negativity and pro-war sentiments spewed by Indian celebrities, it left everyone utterly perplexed, and Qureshi held the same view. “I don’t know what exigence they are facing, and why they are saying all of this. I feel it doesn’t suit artists to utter these kinds of things. It’s always good to promote peace, rather than war,” he said.
On the other hand, Meerza also shared her stance on the ban’s effect on the cultural exchange between the two countries. “The way India is trying to impose war, [we are] also trying to impose a ban on films. In war-like situations like these, any kind of cultural exchange tends to be complicated,” she said.
“I don’t think that as Pakistanis we [ever] wanted to impose war or any kind of bans, but the current inevitable circumstances call for it, at least till the situation calms down. Cultural exchange is something which should stay persistent, in any case. And we should respect each other,” she said.
Moreover, she also expressed her dismay over notable figures in India spewing negativity. “I felt very disappointed seeing Indian actors, artists, writers are promoting war, instead of bringing an actual [positive] change. It does not suit ambassadors of peace to promote this kind of behaviour,” she said.
Seeing how goodwill ambassadors like Priyanka Chopra are being shamed for keeping a pro-war attitude during this entire period of distress, it is refreshing to see filmmakers and prominent personalities on this side of the border continuing to talk sensibly.