Since its October 16 release, Waar has earned itself both local and international acclaim. Bilal Lashari’s action-packed offering illustrates Pakistan’s rocky relationship with neighbouring India. The film, which was recently released in the UAE, has emphasised the harsh reality of the ongoing war against terror in the country. Opinions on the movie varied, as relations between Pakistanis and Indians, who live abroad, are quite amicable in most cases.
Pakistani business analyst Zaid Ahmed, 23, who lives in Dubai, said: “The movie is a bit biased against India. But I’m proud of Pakistan for reviving its film industry. I really enjoyed the movie,” according to 7 Days, a UAE-based newspaper.
Conversely, 24 year-old Indian Viraj Mehta, currently residing in Dubai, said: “Movies like this will not be understood by South Asians in the UAE because Pakistanis and Indians grow up here together in a friendly manner.”
Dubai resident Khadija Syed, from Pakistan, said: “It is the best movie Pakistan has ever shot, but movies like this create difficulties in maintaining peace between the countries. Bollywood has also made controversial films about India and Pakistan, but I don’t think it helps to resolve anything.”
The official Facebook page of Waar has more than 200,000 likes and says the film is inspired by true events. Pakistani Dubai resident Farhan Chaudhry commented on the page: “Thanks Bilal Lashari for showing the reality behind some of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan and that the govern¬ment is still reluctant to take the issue to the UN.”
Dubai-based Pakistani expat Farhatus Saba said the relationship depicted between India and Pakistan is saddening. “The governments are to blame. If you look at the Indians and Pakistanis living abroad, they are friendly with each other. I’m happy that the Pakistani film industry is improving, but I also hope the relations between these two countries improve.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2013.