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India-Pakistan relationship is always a big issue with a never-ending debate and no solution. The bad relation has got so worse that it has affected the Indian cinema as well. The ban came after the September 18 terror attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir which made the decision of banning Pakistani talent from working in the Hindi film industry. When cross-border India-Pakistan tension spilled over into the entertainment world, National award-winning filmmaker Shonali Bose has something very important to say about this.

The filmmaker was part of a panel discussion — Controlling creativity: Is censorship relevant? –alongside veteran filmmaker, Shyam Benegal at the Ficci Frames 2018 here on Tuesday. Asked how the constant restrictions from the Central Board of Film Certification are affecting the creativity and freedom of expression.

Shonali said, “Instead of taking action to protect the rights of women and project their image under the right light, they are restricting filmmakers from doing their work freely. Cinema should be free… For instance, Pakistani actors are not allowed to work in Indian films, and this decision is supported by Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association. What if I want to make a film with Fawad Khan?

Just after her statement, she was mentioned that her comment might earn her the title of an “Anti-national” by the moderator of the panel, to which she replied, “That is the problem with our country nowadays. I speak of friendship between two countries. I want to make a film with Fawad Khan and nobody will allow me to make the film; producer will not back the film because of the risk and fear that has been created around it.”

Fawad Khan has earlier faced the issue of the ban while the release of his film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ which was directed by Karan Johar. The issue re-emerged last month when Union Minister Babul Supriyo once again demanded a ban on Pakistani artistes in Bollywood.