Mumbai: First Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Film Festival kick-started in Mumbai recently. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur lighted the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the 1st SCO Film Festival. Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, actress Hema Malini and other prominent personalities were present during the inaugural ceremony.
During the event, Anurag Thakur also spoke about the ban on Pakistani artists. He said that not only Pakistan but other nations were also invited to the film festival. He informed that Pakistan has refrained from participating in it. “Whenever a multinational tournament has happened we have included all those countries that are a part of the world. It’s their decision to attend or avoid it. We have sent the invitation to all the members of SCO,” he was quoted saying in the ETimes report.
“If I talk about the members it’s a long list. See we have sent the invitations from our side we have opened the gates for everyone,” he further added.
When asked about revoking the ban on Pakistani artists, the Minister said, “please, for now, let us keep it to the SCO festival only.”
It is clear that Pakistan was invited to participate in the festival only. The ban on artists has not been yet revoked. It is relevant to mention here that the latest Pakistani film ”The Legend of Maula Jatt’ starring Fawad Khan, Hamza Abbasi and Mahira Khan also remained in headlines last month as makers were planning to screen the film in India. The screening of the movie was later cancelled.
Various Pakistani artists like Fawad Khan, Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Mahira Khan and others have amassed a huge fan following in India. After the URI attack in 2016, Pakistani artists were banned from performing in India.