Zest for unity

Actor Ahsan Khan on how film and television industries keep Pakistan and India connected

Ians April 12, 2016
Ahsan Khan heaped praise over Raees actor Mahira Khan for making strides in India. PHOTO: FILE


Pakistani celebrities such as Fawad Khan and Atif Aslam may have created waves in Bollywood but Indians like them haven’t found much space in showbiz on this side of the border. Blaming budget constraints for this phenomenon, actor Ahsan Khan deemed Hindi filmdom as the best thing to have happened to Pakistani stars. Ahsan — who is currently a part of the TV show Meri Zindagi Hai Tu — is ecstatic about how readily Pakistani actors are being accepted by the Indian audience.

“I think it is wonderful and one of the best things which could happen to us. People in Pakistan love Bollywood films. I think it is a great move and I feel the kind of appreciation given to Pakistani actors and singers is amazing,” Ahsan said, during a recent visit to Mumbai. The actor — who has been a part of Pakistan’s television industry for almost a decade now — feels the exchange of talent should continue so that the people from both nations stay connected.

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While Indian cinema will soon see the debut of Pakistani actors Mahira Khan in Raees and Saba Qamar with an as yet untitled project, Ahsan speaks about his plans of starring in Bollywood films. When asked if he had any projects in the pipeline, he said, “It would be too early to say ‘yes’, but I have had a couple of meetings and met a couple of people. I’ve received a very positive response. So let’s see if something good works out. If it does, I would love to work in India.”

In the meanwhile, Ahsan will not settle for small screen appearances in Bollywood dramas. “I believe that I would like to work in Indian films instead of TV because I have been doing TV for years now. I would definitely prefer doing some nice films in India, instead of dramas.” Dubbing the Indian film industry as much bigger than Pakistan’s, Ahsan added, “It’s like Pakistan calling actors from Hollywood or Bollywood. We might not have a big budget yet, but getting the chance to work here would appeal to a lot of actors.”

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Ahsan himself began his acting career with Nikaah, a drama that he suddenly rose to fame from. He hopes that as soon as Pakistani entertainment has bigger budgets, it will start calling in Indian actors. “As soon as our film industry has big budgets, they may start hiring Indian people.”

With a growing trend of Pakistani actors going to Bollywood, Ahsan says it is TV and films that connect the two neighbouring countries on a whole different level. “It is this talent exchange, this art and medium that can really get people together,” he claimed. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2016.

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