KARACHI: While Pakistani film-makers continue to churn out entertaining song-and-dance films, there have been none that focused on significant events in the country’s history. One such occurrence, often overlooked, is the 1971 split between East and West Pakistan.
Journalist Kamran Shahid has taken it upon himself to explore the historic event in a film, which will star Mikaal Zulfiqar and model-turned-actor Sadia Khan in the lead roles. The rest of the cast includes Resham, Shamoon Abbasi and Alyy Khan.
“Everyone knows about what happened during the partition in 1947, but we rarely talk about the 1971 split between East and West Pakistan,” Abbasi told The Express Tribune. “Everyone just knows we had a fight and we split. No one has explored this issue so the film explores that in a very epic fashion. At the center, it’s a love story with a backdrop of the 70s war. We’ve got all these ships, tanks, etc.,” Abbasi added.
The Waar actor revealed he will play the role of the antagonist. “I’m playing the bad guy, a very powerful antagonist from Bangladesh.” When asked whether the film will have a neutral stance on the issue, Abbasi said it will be pro-Pakistani, naturally. “We are all Pakistanis and naturally, the film will be pro-Pakistan. But it will also explore the problems we faced during the war and how we split.”
The film’s lead actors, Khan and Zulfiqar, were last seen together in the television series Laa, written by Sarmad Sehbai. Khan has been on a roll since making her cinematic debut with Abdullah – The Final Witness this year.
The untitled film will mostly be shot in Lahore, with one spell in Dhaka. The score will be composed by Sahir Ali Bagga. The film is slated for a March 2017 release.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2016.