Veteran actor-cum-director Javed Sheikh would have been seen in Sonam and Kareena Kapoor’s latest Veere Di Wedding had it not been for a ban on Pakistani talent in India.
Sheikh, who has been ruling over the Pakistani film industry for decades, was approached to play Kareena’s father in the film which released last week and has been banned in Pakistan.
“I was approached by Anil Kapoor’s office over a year ago to play the role of Kareena’s father in the film,” Sheikh said while speaking to Geo.tv.
The veteran actor who has been seen in several Indian films shared that he held a meeting with the director and producer of the film and everything was finalised.
“My shooting dates had been set and my wardrobe was also ready,” he continued adding that this was during the time Kareena was expecting her son, Taimur Ali Khan.
“However, the shooting dates were changed as Kareena or the whole crew decided that it was difficult to shoot while she was expecting,” Sheikh added.
He continued, “However, by the time Kareena delivered her baby relations between Pakistan and India had worsened and the producers association there decided against casting Pakistani actors.”
Sheikh, who is gearing up for the release of his film Wajood on Eid-ul-Fitr, however, is positive that “things will get better”.
“Things are moving in the right direction,” he said while referring to a recent hotline conversation between the directors general of military operations of Pakistani and Indian armies.
Stating that Pakistani producers and exhibitors are casting Indian talent despite a ban on Pakistani talent across the border, Sheikh hoped Indian producers association would soon follow suit.
“Aditi Singh is playing a lead role in Wajood and we hope this positive news goes there and they reconsider the ban on Pakistani talent,” he said.
“The exchange of talent should never be stopped,” he asserted while stating that the Pakistani film industry is now in a position to cast Indian talent.
Sheikh concluded, “We [actors] are ambassadors of peace”.
Earlier this year, Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) refused to withdraw its ban on Pakistani artists working in India. The ban came about two years ago, right before the release of Fawad Khan’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Mahira Khan’s Raees alongside Shah Rukh Khan.