Shaan and Ali Zafar face-off

Published: May 1, 2014
While the audience was taken aback by Shaan’s comments, it was Ali who offered him a rebuttal. PHOTO: FILE

While the audience was taken aback by Shaan’s comments, it was Ali who offered him a rebuttal. PHOTO: FILE

While the audience was taken aback by Shaan’s comments, it was Ali who offered him a rebuttal. PHOTO: FILE While the audience was taken aback by Shaan’s comments, it was Ali who offered him a rebuttal. PHOTO: FILE

Over the course of time, actor Shaan Shahid has received many film offers from Bollywood and has been equally vocal about refusing them. The most popular of the offers being when he was asked to play the villain in Aamir Khan’s Ghajini (2008).

Recently, at a film awards show, Shaan openly criticised Pakistani artistes who cross the border to be a part of Bollywood ventures, calling them “cheap sell-outs.” At the occasion, where he also unveiled the first look of his upcoming film Arth 2, he blamed local celebrities for making Bollywood a stairway to their success.

While the audience, which included stars such as Javed Sheikh and Zeba Bakhtiar, was taken aback by Shaan’s comments, it was singer-actor Ali Zafar who offered him a rebuttal.

When Ali went on stage to receive his award for the ‘International Icon of the Year’, he said in his acceptance speech, “Hum doosri cheezon ka sahaara letay hain apni khaamion ko chupane ke liye, patriotism ke naam pae, doosri cheezon ke naam pae…” (We make excuses to hide our weaknesses, sometimes, in the name of patriotism, sometimes, in the name of other things.)

“I think we should be honest. Humain sach bolna chahiye aur woh waqt agaya hai ke anay walay logon se sach bola jaaye,” he added. (We should speak the truth and the time has come when the new generation should be told the truth.)

Ali also mentioned how it was disrespectful of Shaan to blame the artistes as sell-outs. He mentioned a list of artistes who have worked in Bollywood, including Bade Ghulam Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mohsin Khan, Zeba Bakhtiar, Salma Agha, Shafqat Amanat Ali and Atif Aslam. He said that these stars have made their mark in India through their work and have received tremendous appreciation for it.

He encouraged newcomers to not let anything deter them from going where they want to; he gave himself as an example as he was told by many people that he could never make it big internationally.

Ali’s words were followed by a huge round of applause, which not only showed that the audience endorsed his point of view, but also that Shaan is not the only driving force behind Pakistani cinema – Ali’s perspective also holds great value in the local film industry.

With more than 450 films under his belt, actor Shaan Shahid epitomises the true potential of Pakistani cinema. His dedication to the industry is nothing less than appreciable. In fact, it’s exemplary for other actors, who don’t take Lollywood as seriously as they take other filmdoms.

However, it’s unseemly for an artiste of Shaan’s stature to be critical of others who haven’t chosen to walk the same path as him. But the exchange of words between the two well-known actors is a positive sign for the industry as it shows the polarised perspectives that exist in it.

Ali represents the fresh generation of actors who opt for a more holistic, globalised view of things instead of indulging in needless jingoism, which has often resulted in the ban of Indian films in Pakistan. It’s time that the film industry takes up a more progressive approach towards international collaborations, which many young actors advocate. As Allama Iqbal says, “Jawanon ko Peeron ka ustad kar.” (Make the young mentors of the old.)

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2014.

Like Life & Style on Facebook, follow @ETLifeandStyle on Twitter for the latest in fashion, gossip and entertainment.


Which star do you agree with?

     View Results

Polls are non-scientific, reflect only the online audience and can be manipulated.
 Loading ...

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (70)

  • Saleem
    May 1, 2014 - 10:00PM

    I endorse Shan’s views. God Bless him. He is a man of priciples.


  • Safwan
    May 1, 2014 - 10:01PM

    Just because Shaan has been making a series of moronic mistakes, that does not mean that others should follow that same path as well.


  • Shikha
    May 1, 2014 - 11:20PM

    Shaan is just pure JEALOUS of ali’s SUCCESS .. as he is not getting too much attention from Pakistan where as ali is getting from all over the world . Boo shame on u Shaan :-p


  • Maheen
    May 1, 2014 - 11:20PM

    I agree with Shaan, perhaps because I support the underdog. While I am all for maintaining good ties with India on the basis of mutual respect and honesty, I feel Pakistani artists sell their own industry short by caving in to the monetary and status temptations that Bollywood offers. A case could also be made that Bollywood routinely demonizes Pakistanis in specific, and Muslims in general, so why should Pakistani artists support this bigotry and discrimination? In this article, Shaan was asked to play a villain in an Indian production. Why not a positive character?


  • Ali
    May 1, 2014 - 11:21PM

    Ali Zafar will take his words back after meeting Shiv Sena or RSS activists in India…


  • Urva Siddiqui
    May 1, 2014 - 11:26PM

    Take a woman, rip her clothes, show some huge cleavage and some fat thighs trying to make the hero horny for pete’s sake, that’s our industry ‘lollywood’ in a nutshell.
    No disrespect to Shaan (he’s a tremendous actor no doubt) but sir looking at most of your movies i say,
    Cheap sell-outs = 1
    Your horny movies = 0


  • Arsalan
    May 1, 2014 - 11:28PM

    “At the occasion, where he also unveiled the first look of his upcoming film Arth 2, he blamed local celebrities for making Bollywood a stairway to their success.”
    This sentence sums up Shaan’s hypocrisy. One one hand he is remaking a Bollywood film Arth and on the other hand, cursing those who associates themselves with Bollywood.


  • sarah
    May 1, 2014 - 11:34PM

    I agree with Shaan too.. However, if artists do cross borders, they better make sure the reason is worth it and not just to rake in money…


  • Samirah
    May 1, 2014 - 11:36PM

    Shaan’s right that is why he’s highly respected here in UK too. The rest are just suck ups and are in fact cheap sell outs!! Shaan always stayed down to earth, loyal and has given lots of respect to his country and he has earned lots of respect too!


  • Sammy
    May 1, 2014 - 11:50PM

    I remember in a talk show when Shaan was making fun of Meera, Reema and other Pakistani film industry’s heroins. His views about his own fellow actresses were very insulting and full of sarcasm. He should never forget that his own mother is from the same faternity and these ladies have an equal contribution towards his own stardom. If these heroins would not be there who would be his heroin in films? Shafqat Cheema, John Rambo or Syed Noor? No matter what these women do in their personal life or what background they come from at least all these heroins take pride in their work and feel proud of Pakistani Film Industry unlike him.

    Now when other Pakistanis are being appreciated and liked in other industries he is simply getting jealous for not being offered anything there. So please stop using patriotism card as this world has become a global village and try to be part of this instead of pulling others legs and dont act like “Khisyaani Billi Khamba Nochay”.

    P.S. Oh yeah and you are a hypocrite too :P


  • Raza
    May 1, 2014 - 11:56PM

    Shaan has been supporting the pakistani film industry for long time, playing great part in it’s survival, not leaving in order to support no matter the cost and pride. where most of the talent is waiting for a call from Bollywood, he endured the quality of pakistani films being produced but now after great patience we can see the revival of Lollywood with great makes of Khuda k liye, Waar and upcoming projects like jalebi, operation 21. He means to encourage the people of Pakistan to stay true to it’s industry as if we won’t help it who will then. he is true in his statment, God bless him.


  • Shah
    May 1, 2014 - 11:59PM

    Shaan showed the world whn there is a will there is a way…..thumps up…Shaan u rocked the world with WAAR…u displayed tht if Pakistan thrives we can achieve every thing..sorry Ali Zafar cannot support u this time…..Recommend

  • Bilal
    May 2, 2014 - 12:15AM

    As if we don’t know how much respect Ali Zafar has in bollywood.He has acted in three films and none of them was remarkable.As far as Javaid Sheikh is concerned,isn’t he the same guy who showed up in “Om Shanti Om” for 0.25 seconds?
    How many times have they been assaulted in Inida?
    We don’t have problem with them acting in Inidan movies but we do have problem with the way they degrade Pakistan while they are in India.
    None of them has done anything for Pakistani Cinema.Shaan’s Waar created at least some for Pakistani Cinema.


  • musician
    May 2, 2014 - 12:47AM

    Woah..shaaan has done more damage than anyone else to the paki film industry.. Out of 450 films..400 odd were on the gunda culture..he chose money over taking a principly driven stand of quality over quantity.
    It was lashari along with new wave film makers that revived us..Ali zafar is right..let’s not deter the new generation from following their dreams in the name of patriotism.. At if rahat nfak wudnt have gotten half the respect In pak if they chose not to work in India.


  • Arif
    May 2, 2014 - 12:48AM

    It is ridiculous to have this debate without setting proper context for each side. The article here is apparently doing disservice to one over the other.

    An artist by his very definition, wouldn’t be restricting his art, or excluding it. He is already bound by nature (restrictions of nature, language etc). So why would any artist want to restrict sharing his art to a certain abstract geographical boundaries? You have to have his context to understand. Is he doing it for patriotism, racism? Or is he doing it for the sake of his peers, standing by them through thick or thin?

    The same questions should be asked from other side. Why are they sharing their art to extended boundaries? What is their motivation? Is it money, fame, or natural inclination towards sharing as wide as they can? Why are they not worried about their peers and their limited conditions?

    Issues of patriotism, racism, and religious bigotry are never the first level concerns, but they almost always seems like one from audience’s perspective. An artist could be an outright bigot, or he could be a caring one who wishes to standby with his fellow artist. Truth is a relative matter, Ali Zafar can’t really speaking the truth if he is asking others to speak the truth.


  • Khurram Malik
    May 2, 2014 - 12:51AM

    I think Ali Zafar is a better artist and makes more sense, but Shaan’s point of view has more weight here, specially when India gives a damn to anything PK does (Khuda K liye, Bol, Waar are great movies) and deserved more international recognition. Now when an artist gets to work with artists like Katrina, Shahrukh, they don’t settle for anything less than those standards (glitter) and feel insulting working with fellow Paki artists (not as accomplished as SRK and likes) and at a lot lesser pay.

    We need star power here like Shahrukh, Aamir, Salman and decent educated heroines (B class heroines like Meera, Veena have destroyed this industry here). But i think our industry is on the right track finally… Difference of opinion is fine, both are great men (Ali and Shaan).


  • Noman Ansari
    May 2, 2014 - 1:40AM

    What a load of bull Saleem? He is a man of principles? This is like any other job. I don’t like Bollywood, but if I were given a better opportunity to work overseas, why not? I am sure you’d hop on the next flight to UAE or USA or England if you had an opportunity.

    Does that make you a sellout?


  • M.Ali
    May 2, 2014 - 1:55AM

    result of being proprietory: Class and heavy personality (Shaan). He is viewed with most respect currently coz of the tough decision he has made to keep his class and dignity.

    Ali Zafar: Part of Lame, silly, vulgar, immature, teeny, anoying stupid cheap, nachori, movies of bollywood which a 7 grade student of a developed backgound shall feel to puke of what non sense he is witnessing. (Note: This is not abusive language, these are facts about characteristics of matter in his media contents).

    Ali Zafar should thing billions of times before comparing the era and talent of Nusrat Fateh and etc to this era and today beauty oriented actors. Todays industry in based on ‘extreme’ immorality and satanism as it was in past. Youg dignity and value comes 1st, before you think of going to bollywood. If not done so, logicaly shan is right. You are cheap serving a nachori industry that has nothing of sense in its content.


  • Hasan
    May 2, 2014 - 2:10AM

    How ironic! Shaan’s project ‘Arth 2’ is a co-production that relies heavily on Mahesh Bhatt’s contribution as it is his film ‘Arth’ he has bought the rights for. So why the anti-Bollywood stance? This isn’t about patriotism, this is really about an ageing actor’s narrow-minded view of cinema and globalization.


  • Wasim
    May 2, 2014 - 2:41AM

    Well done Shan! I salute you. Good to see that everyone is not up for sale falling over themselves to pose in their vest.


  • Athar Ali
    May 2, 2014 - 2:42AM

    And what about when Shan and his colleagues copy names and other stuffs of Bollywood and Hollywood?


  • ali
    May 2, 2014 - 2:49AM

    Shan is a great Artist no one can compare him with the bacha like Ali Zafar. Every movie of Ali Zafar in India was a flop. He shud have think hundred times before speaking about the Shaan. Another failed cheap stunt of Ali Zafar to be in the news. And those must be blind who selected him as the Icon of the year WTF


  • Striver
    May 2, 2014 - 3:58AM

    Ali Zafar is a good actor but does not even come close to the calibre of Shaan. Shaan was absolutely brilliant in Khuda key liye and Waar it proved be has acting has depth and expression that cannot be matched by any bollywood actor.

    You people need to learn to respect and recognise talent of your own country or forever live in inferiority complex.


  • sterry
    May 2, 2014 - 4:00AM

    @Saleem: I support Shan fully in his comments. I think less of Ali Zafar since he felt so emboldened to take on Shan and put down Pakistani cinema – that’s what he implied in his comments. Overseas Pakistanis can look to Shan as a real Pakistani artist who is committed to his art in Pakistan when people ask us about Pakistani movies. He alone is responsible for forwarding the agenda of Pakistani cinema. There is nothing wrong with Indian movies, Turkish movies or Arab movies but when will our nation realize the importance of placing own entertainment industry first? At least Shan has his priority right.


  • kika
    May 2, 2014 - 5:11AM

    The author is overreacting…
    There was no such dispute at the awards.

    Here’s a link to Shaans address.

  • Mohib
    May 2, 2014 - 7:48AM

    I totally agree with Ali Zafar’s statement. (y)


  • Mohib
    May 2, 2014 - 7:50AM

    I completely agree with Ali Zafar’s statement! And I love his work.


  • khalid sheikh
    May 2, 2014 - 8:17AM

    Who so ever went to India to make money what happened to them in the end.


  • Ali
    May 2, 2014 - 8:59AM

    Useless discussions…


  • harsh
    May 2, 2014 - 9:32AM

    Shaan who? Atleast ali is a goodsinger and decent actor I like his work


  • imran
    May 2, 2014 - 10:38AM

    Its bad of Ali Zafar, to go big mouth again the one and only true legend of Paksitan, “Shaan”. Kuch to apna khalis rehne do.


  • lol
    May 2, 2014 - 10:53AM

    Umm i really don’t care, we’ve got more important things at hand than this lollywood Bollywood crap. Not a serious issue to fight over, let these celebrities deal with such things!


  • Thor
    May 2, 2014 - 11:16AM

    Shaman shouldn’t disrespect other artist just because he isn’t international exposure.


  • host
    May 2, 2014 - 11:34AM

    Can anyone name a single work from Ali Zafar that is of high quality? nudism, third class singing – put them aside please.


  • Hassan
    May 2, 2014 - 12:15PM

    Our actors run to India at every given opportunity thinking that it will give them more respect back home which is not true. Also its a matter of principle, if you have any that is. India does NOT allow our cricketers to play IPL, its insulting. Our actors should also take a similar stand. Indians show us how cheap we are, where on the one hand they can buy our actors and on the other hand tell our cricketers they are not worth the money to play IPL. If you have guts Ali Zafar then speak out on IPL the next time you are in India at an awards show.


  • Spock
    May 2, 2014 - 12:31PM

    Grapes are sour for Shaan. He couldnt get a good deal in bollywood


  • maria sheikj
    May 2, 2014 - 2:39PM

    I endorse Ali Zafar’s view because even our beauties have the right to go sexy item numbers.

    Pakistani women are far more talented and gorgeous, I believe bollywood is in a better position to showcase it.Recommend

  • Hooria Shafiq
    May 2, 2014 - 3:34PM

    I’m a huge fan of Ali Zafar,not because of his looks but also because he is a really great human being. He is a huge inspiration and i think we can learn alot from him!
    Now about this issue,i personally think Shaan has no right to call such stars ” cheap sell-outs”. Its not the right thing to hear from such a huge star that shaan is. People such as Ali Zafar crossed the border to be acknowledged for their talent. Here in lollywood we all are aware what it does to talent. As soon as Ali crossed the border he got so many fan following and so much respect that pakistan didnt give him before,although he was famous for his singing talents but still proper attention was not given. Now the AFA2014 award confirms how much he is renowned for his skills around the world. This is what we have to see. Open ur eyes people,making ur stars be acknowledged the world over is the thing we should be happy for! Its merely an orthodox thinking that they should stay in lollywood.our stars can do wonders if proper attention is given to them as it is given around the world. If u want them to stay in lollywood you should first make the industry purely professional. As it needs to be. I’m sure stars like Ali will do wonders for lollywood too in the near future. You just wait n see.. And think thrice beforr criticizing such Wonderful people!
    God bless you Ali Zafar <3


  • Tani
    May 2, 2014 - 3:42PM

    @hassan getting role in Bollywood is not a cake for someone outside the industry even for indians. So people from different country aspire to work is different base all together. Your actors send their portfolios to agencies and PR machinery in india to promote them market them to get auditions and roles. Nobody from industry goes anywhere or has prior clue mostly about foreigners to buy them. So I suggest if you have problem tell your actors not to send their portfolios and hire managers in india to get them work and business.
    ET publish this.


  • Imran
    May 2, 2014 - 3:48PM

    @maria sheikj. Beauty lies in eyes of beholder. I prefer exotic beauties than pale skin.
    Secondly if your notion is true why hasn’t pak won miss worlds and universe on world stage? Neighbouring country has endless list of miss world,universe,earth,pacific etc.


  • ??
    May 2, 2014 - 5:03PM

    It’s just a difference of opinion…for each his own…why make a fuss out of nothing? I’m sure Ali Zafar will work in Pakistani films too in future


  • imran
    May 2, 2014 - 5:27PM

    What to do when this country has nothing for majority of talented people. Eat grass, live in a stoneage without electricity, what is wrong in going to india for work ….as far as self respect is concerned it is everyone personal matter. I admire the views of both sides but again it should be a personal choice.


  • Black
    May 2, 2014 - 5:29PM

    Okay, Shaan is a great actor and a big Pakistani icon but I just don’t understand him on this.
    What is his problem with anyone going international? He can disagree with it but he does not need to discourage others. If the great Naseeruddin Shah can come to Pakistan again and again (working alongside Shaan himself and supporting young Pakistani actors), then why can’t Pakistani actors go to bollywood?


  • Wasim
    May 2, 2014 - 5:29PM

    I salute you Shaan!! Good to see a man of principle. Almost every other Pakistani actor would step over their own mother to appear in the same film as Amir Khan. you have to remember that many in the audience sold themselves to the highest bidder long ago. The difference is simple – Shaan cares more about Pakistan than himself and wants to do something for his country – the others care more about themselves and if that means going over the border to pose in their vest next to scantily clad woman – so be it.Recommend

  • Rizvi
    May 2, 2014 - 5:58PM

    Shaan has worked in 450 movies, that’s true. But for God’s sake pay attention to what has been done not to the numbers. He has worked in 450 movies but what kind of messages or themes those films carried. The themes which were non-sense, non serious, and totally time wasting. Such as Amir Khan did not work in 450 movies but whatever he has done so far has created an impact on the society. Amir Khan has affected the mindset of his society through his serious films.

    Stop crying under the banner of patriotism, most Pakistanis are dying because of hunger, no medicine and the cruelty prevails in our society which is considered Islamic. Does it do any good to us or to our people. NO! Not at all.

    Struggle and try to change the current bogus conditions by any means necessary.


  • Saima
    May 2, 2014 - 5:58PM

    Why is Shaan making ‘Arth2’. Isn’t Arth an Indian film???? I support Ali Zafar’s views because he is not being hypocrital like Shaan. And I request Shaan that PLEASE work with Indian, french, russian whoever you want to BUT please MAKE a film about us – a local pakistani story.


  • Achaa Bachaa
    May 2, 2014 - 6:23PM

    We should stop this rhetoric of patriotism and use of it as marketing tool.Why we don’t see it like this, every time a Pakistani actor/singer act/sings in India, he is being given preference over an indian actor/singer. Nusrat Fateh a termendous singer, would not have become an international icon had Peter Gabriel not signed him;When the same media promote our stars,we say our stars have sold themselves.These stars should be appreciated and cherished rather than shackled.We must also remember that mehdi hassan was ill and had no money to support his treatement , it was jagjit singh who organized a charity concert at lahore to support himRecommend

  • Excuse Me
    May 2, 2014 - 6:36PM

    I’ve read this story before. In another paper. Earlier in the week.

    Seriously, Tribune?


  • Supporter
    May 2, 2014 - 7:02PM

    All statements must be evaluated on facts. Shaan remains the face of Pakistan’s beleagured cinema. When it comes to acting and looks, he is way above than many top bollywood heroes. He has done some really good cinema such as the most recent flick “Waar” and “Khuda Ke Liya”. He is making Arth 2, using the proper legal means by buying the rights w/o infringing copyrights and other intellectual rights. True, he could have perhaps invested the same money in finding better writers to create an original movie but maybe as an actor he likes the concept and wants to play a central rol. At the moment, it looks like Shaan is the only one who is trying hard to revive the embattled cinema and art in the country on his own while others are selling their art across border for pennies and cameos. Remember Javed Sheikh’s roles in many movies, he did not manage to get more than 10 mins screen space. Yes, Ali Zafar played a second fiddle role to Bollywood Imran Khan. I am sure many would have accepted the role of a villain in Ghajni but Shaan did the right thing by not accepting it. Does India play our movies in their theatres? Why do we play their movies in our theatres? Brotherhood and open trade must be 2 way traffic and not be based upon unilateral whims. By not respecting Shaan for his ideological and principled stand, we are undermining our own integrity by accepting it is OK to be 2nd or 3rd fiddle in Bollywood. Similarly, Amitabh Baachan’s role in “The Great Gatsby” and Anil Kapoor’s role in “Mission Impossible” were a disgrace to Bollywood. Look at their roles and call it their great International presence under a delusion. Shaan and all other actors must strive together to revive our own cinema and create their own presence rather than settling for below the mark fame and money in the name of art.


  • May 2, 2014 - 8:11PM

    good reply mr grape are sour for shaan


  • May 2, 2014 - 8:12PM

    nice i also agree with ali zafar


  • TR
    May 2, 2014 - 8:13PM

    So you want India to pay cricketers but not actors?
    You want Ali Zafar to take up issues that the PCB and the government is responsible for?
    When Ali Zafar does a show in India, the audience (the awaam of India) is going crazy for a “Pakistani” singer, just like they do for Shahid Afridi; and we are so proud of that.
    Shaan doesn’t want to go to india is his choice, but don’t try to decide what other peoples intentions are, because then others can question your ‘real’ intentions also.Recommend

  • May 2, 2014 - 8:24PM

    @Hooria Shafiq:
    nice reply…………… god bless you ali zafar


  • M.Sarmad
    May 2, 2014 - 9:10PM

    Shan is absolutely right. He worked all his life to strengthen the film industry while others just rejected offers and are waiting for rise of industry to work.
    I think they have no right to work if they can’t support industry in bad time..


  • Shanooo
    May 2, 2014 - 11:09PM

    Shan was Zillay Shah- Can Ali Z be Zillay Shah? NO No No


  • Grace
    May 3, 2014 - 12:18AM

    @ehtisham bashir: I used to like Ali Zafar but now knowing he is so pro Indian over his own country makes me not like him now. I support Shan now. Maybe Ali Zafar should just stay in India and let Pakistani artists in Pakistan work to make better movies in our own country.


  • Shahid khan
    May 3, 2014 - 2:27AM

    Lol r u kidding u comparing shaan with ali zafar loool mate open ur eyes shaan acting is usless compare to ali zafar bhai@Striver:


  • gp65
    May 3, 2014 - 5:12AM

    ” He mentioned a list of artistes who have worked in Bollywood, including Bade Ghulam Ali,”

    Bade Ghulam Ali, the doyen of Hindustani classical music was an Indian citizen. It is true he went to Pakistan initially during partition but he returned to India soon thereafter. Ali Zafar may have been referring to the ghazal singer Ghulam Ali.

    You are confused. If India gives opportunity to Pakistani performers in Bollywood you have a problem. If it does not give a chance to Pakistani cricketers i IPL you have a problem. Either way you will complain. Also what leverage do you think Ali Zafar has to raise the IPL issue. Is he a team owner? Even PM of India cannot direct any team owner to hire a specific player.Recommend

  • Shahid Ashraf
    May 3, 2014 - 11:42AM

    What Shaan has been doing is right but what Ali Zafar and likes are doing is also equally right. While Shaan has made great contributions in Pakistani cinema and showbiz industry, others who explored other avenues have also somehow contributed in raising Pakistan’s image abroad. Both sides are equally patriotic Pakistanis and both sides are doing a good service to Pakistan and cinema and art in general. I think it’s high time, we stop being judgemental. I agree with the writer here who has given a balanced view of the situation. Shaan is an icon, the only Pakistani filmstar of an international stature today and we all love him and respect him. I think his intentions were not wrong and he said all this in true love of Pakistani cinema, however, we all have a right to disagree and it’s a good sign that many in media are criticising what he said. Hope he will be more careful in future. :)


  • Arbit
    May 3, 2014 - 12:17PM

    I saw khuda ke liye in an Indian theatre in Mumbai. And it was widely appreciated by the Indian audience. I also hoped that this is the new beginning of sensible cinema from across border. But that was 2008. You can’t still be looking at the same examples if you have to move fwdRecommend

  • Aneela Riazuddin
    May 3, 2014 - 1:29PM

    I agree with Shaan. Why do our stars have to go to India to feel they have been recognized. The way Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Adnan Sami and many others have been treated in India shows how much they detest our artists. After being kicked in India these artists eventually find refuge in their own homeland Pakistan. Ali Zafar should learn a lesson from Rahat Feteh Ali Khan’s insult in India.


  • Lalit Sardana
    May 3, 2014 - 3:24PM

    I am amused by the debate above. I dont think that Mr. Shaan’s comments make him any kind of patriotic or nationalist, nor Mr. Ali Zafar’s comments make him any kind of rebel.

    There has always been a mutual respect and fan following for artists on both sides, and there are so many fans of Nusrat sahab, Mehndi Hasan, Atif Aslam. The movies like Khuda ke liye and Bol have been very much appreciated in India also, and when Naseerudin Shah and Kirron Kher acted in Pakistani movies nobody raised a brow in India.


  • someone
    May 3, 2014 - 9:47PM

    @Aneela Riazuddin:
    Rahet Fathe Ali was caught at airport with 500,000 USD with him. He has not paid tax on that money. We indeed hope Ali Zafar learnt a lesson from him and don’t act like Rahet Fateh Ali Khan. We know Pakistani’s don’t have habit of paying taxes but India is not Pakistan.


  • Ali
    May 4, 2014 - 12:27AM

    Shaan is a true pakistani who does not sell him self to India.
    We’ll done shaan
    Teach the kids the way to go.


  • Kashif
    May 4, 2014 - 1:10AM

    Ali Zafar makes all his money from commercials that he gets in Pakistan through his C-Grade Indian film appearances due to popularity of Bollywood. He is not a household name yet in Indian cinema, neither does he always get paid handsomely in India. Whereas Shan is ‘Andhon mei kaana Raja’ and an average actor at best.


  • May 4, 2014 - 9:44AM

    Hello I AM AN INDIAN. My respect to Shaan he is great actor. I have watched his movie KHUDA KE LIYE really great acting. But I don’t agree with him upto some extent. No way one must be patriotic and proud of his culture. One artist should always promote his culture. Just take the example of IRFFAN KHAN, he works in bollywood as well as in Hollywood. We dont question his patriotism if he works in hollywood insted we feels proud that he is working in hollywood and promoting India;s name. But on the other hand he is also associated with bollywood. Same is the case with ALI ZAFAR although he works in bollywood but he must also be associated with lollywood to promote his own industry and bring it to the standards of bollywood. It would be good for both INDIA AND PAKISTAN.


    May 4, 2014 - 4:12PM

    Yes nationalistic jingoism is wrong and problematic. BUT Shaan’s point is different. Most Pakistani actors in Bollywood get horrible roles and essentially make a fool out of themselves, like the roles of Javed Sheikh, Mohsin Khan etc. They acted in horrible B class movies. Even Ali Zafar’s own films are pathetic. As an aside, it will take Ali Zafar 300 years to even come close to Shaan in terms of acting talent. Shaan is absolutely right here, if you make cheap bad movies for money, you should be called a cheap sell-out. And the author of this article has missed Shaan’s point and thinks he’s being cool and trendy.


  • Shah
    May 24, 2014 - 4:25AM

    If you heard Shaan’s speech you would really understand what he was trying to say and I agree with that 100%. Basically his point was that we should stay in Pakistan and make our industry so good that people from Bollywood would feel honored to act and direct our movies. His exact words were: “hum apnay mulk main rahtain hain aur yaheen kaam kartay hain aur In Sha Allah unko yahan lay kay ayengay, hum wahan nahi jayen gai”.

    If our actors actually spend time making good movies in Pakistan and helping the industry than not only will they be among the revolutionaries who changed Pakistani film industry but they will also give the Pakistani industry a pathway to world recognition with good movies. Also, having good movies is a good way to show the world our reality and not just what is shown in foreign news channels about Pakistan.

    I was so happy with Khuda Kay Liye b/c people got to see the other side and not just the same side CNN and Indian news channels tell about us and same in Waar.

    In Sha Allah, one day our movies will also be nominated at Oscars like Bollywood, Iran, etc.


  • A
    May 26, 2014 - 12:17PM

    I respect and endorse Shaan’s perspective. He’s a man of principles. I am not against working with individuals from across the border; however, it’s become clear that there are far too many artists who do not recognize their own value and merit. For instance, there are so many great Pakistani artists who have worked in Bollywood, ie: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, etc, however, they’ve never been recognized once by juries or at award ceremonies in Bollywood. As a matter of fact, they’ve contributed, but have not received anything in return. In fact, some of them have been criticized and degraded on so many levels. Take for instance, Atif Aslam who has contributed to Bollywood and because of his contribution, so many movies became popular and sold records mainly due to the song and in spite of that, he was hated on by so many artists in Bollywood who are keen on criticizing him. And regardless of what anyone says, Bollywood is a much easier way to fame. That much is clear to everyone. As I said, I’m not against working across borders, but it should be a two-way thing. Our artists will never receive the appreciation they deserve in Bollywood and I’m not saying this blindly, but we can look at their history of contributions and assess that. In addition, Bollywood has never supported our industry, they do not play our films; hence, we should unite as artists and a community and allow our industry to flourish instead of running to the other side.


  • Sajida Tahmeed
    May 26, 2014 - 8:15PM

    Majority who voted for Ali Zafar has proved the two nation theory wrong. And maybe that is the reason why people like Ali Zafar are moving to better places like bollywood instead of investing their talent for betterment of our own industry. If Madam Noor Jehan can comprehensively compete Lata Mangeshkar’s popularity by staying and giving her talents to the Pakistani Music and Film Industry, why cant Ali Zafar stay here and compete with Indian Musicians. If we praise the art of Bollywood actors, why cant we work here and make Indian Fans praise the abilities of our actors. Are we afraid of reviving and rebuilding the corrupted structure of our industry? Why are we reluctant to work hard and re-establish our own industry?


More in Film