Pakistani actress Mahira Khan has said that she was offered a lot of Indian web series in the past but the actress didn’t accept them out of fear. Mahira, who made her Bollywood debut with Raees in 2017, opened up about the ban on Pakistani artistes in the Indian film industry. In 2016, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had objected to the casting of actors from Pakistan in Bollywood movies after the Uri terror attack. Following this, Mahira had not promoted Raees in India. In October 2016, the party had staged high-voltage protests against the release of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil for featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
Speaking to Film Companion about the ban, Mahira said, “I guess, having experienced it firsthand, it’s just sad. When I think about it… I mean, we have all moved on. That’s what we do, if we don’t have this, we do something else. That’s what happens. But I feel like a great opportunity for the entire subcontinent to come together and collaborate was lost. I think it might happen again. Who knows?”
Mahira, who will narrate one of the short stories in an upcoming ZEE5 series, said that she got offers for other digital projects but turned them down. “A lot of the other series were offered to me and at that time… I don’t know if anybody will understand when I say this, I was scared. I was genuinely just scared. It wasn’t about what people say, I was just like, ‘I don’t know if I want to go there.’ And there was some content which was amazing, and I didn’t want to miss out on it,” she said.