“You have to understand that she’s an individual and you can’t judge the entire community on the basis of one person’s behaviour. You shouldn’t even judge Pakistan through me. The whole Pakistan is not like Ali Zafar or Veena Malik,” said Zafar.
“There are such individuals in every entertainment industry. India also has women who ride on controversies. It happens everywhere. It even happens in Hollywood,” he added.
Malik came into the limelight after her link up with tainted Pakistani bowler Mohammad Asif. She rose to fame in India making headlines for her alleged link-up with her “Bigg Boss” inmate, Indian actor Ashmit Patel, in the fourth season of the reality show. A few months ago, Veena appeared in a bold, topless photoshoot with FHM India magazine and became a hot topic for Pakistani and Indian media.
Zafar believes that being involved in controversies is not the best method to boost one’s career. “I think one should avoid controversies as long as possible, they may help you in the short-run, but I don’t think those who are talented need controversies to boost their career,” he said. “It’s always good to stay away so that you can work smoothly. You try to stay away from trouble for your own sake and for the sake of other people. I think anybody who comes from Pakistan to India should be cautious and conscious, otherwise it puts others in a bad light,” reports IANS.
Sticking to his mantra, Zafar said he makes sure he doesn’t do anything that gives a bad name to his country. “I pay all my taxes. I make sure all paper work is in place and streamlined. I want to work in a manner so that I stay away from controversies,” he said. “Whatever films I do, I make sure that I don’t do scenes or say dialogues or do stuff that could hurt people back home. In my capacity, I try and keep everyone happy but that’s just me. Everybody has their own style of working,” he added.
Not mixing film with politics
Recently Indian film-makers responded to Shiv Sena founder and Chief Bal Thackeray’s criticism on Veena Malik’s photoshoot and his request to send Malik back to Pakistan. Film-maker Rahul Dholakia, who may cast Pakistan television actor Imran Abbas in one of his films said, “I don’t care about the political parties. If my film needs a Pakistan artist, then I will sign him,” newspakistan.pk quoted him as saying.
According to newspakistan.pk, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, who casted Pakistani actor Meera in his film Nazar, has also expressed his feelings. “Back in the season of hate, targeting a Pakistani entertainer was profitable — it got you instant attention. However, the situation has drastically changed now. Pakistan is no longer heading our hate list. Today, hating a Pakistani actor is not profitable because it does not grab headlines.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2012.