The political tension post the URI attack has widened the cultural and artistic gap between Pakistan and India. Mahesh Bhatt who has been supporting Pakistan, despite of the rising tensions, approached few Pakistani singers for a song which is to be featured in a cross-border peace play!
It was earlier reported that Mahesh Bhatt has offered a song to Ali Zafar for his upcoming play. However, latest reports suggest that he’s not just taking Ali on board but Shafqat Amanat Ali too and is thinking to approach Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan as well.
According to a report from DNA, Mahesh Bhatt is all set to bring back Pakistani artistes to India. Last week Bhatt made a call to singer-actor Ali Zafar in Karachi offering him a song on the theme of cross-border peace. Ali responded favourably. So did Shafqat Amanat Ali who has agreed to contribute a song to Mahesh Bhatt’s endeavour free of cost.
Delhi-based actor Imran Zahid who will be working with Mahesh Bhatt on this project says, “Every Pakistani artiste Bhatt saab has approached has responded enthusiastically. Shafqat Amanat Ali’s manager said he doesn’t want any money for this song. We are also working on getting Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam on board.”
But what about the unofficial ban on Pakistani artistes in India? Says Imran, “We are going to use the voices of the Pakistani artistes, for a play called Milne Do which will be staged in Delhi on June 8 and Mumbai on June 23. Furthermore the Indian government has clarified that it has not banned Pakistani artistes. When the Government has taken a clear stand on the issue, what chance do the protesters stand?”
“Bhatt saab is not new to protests,” he continued. “Dialogue with Pakistan must re-start on a cultural level. The Delhi government is supporting our endeavour here in Delhi and in West Bengal Mamata Banerjee has extended support to our mission.”
However, BJP spokesperson Shaina NC is clear on the issue. “Relations with Pakistan have deteriorated to such an extent that there is a move now to declare Pakistan a terror state on an international level. Given the current crisis I don’t think we can have Pakistani artistes coming here.”