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Kabir Khan: Pak political outfits backing Hafeez Saeed

Director Kabir Khan has alleged that political organisations in Pakistan are supporting 26/11 mastermind Hafeez Saeed, who has sought a ban on his upcoming film "Phantom" in the country.

Kabir Khan
Kabir Khan

"Phantom" is about the post-26/11 attacks in Mumbai and global terrorism. It is an adaptation of author Hussain Zaidi's book 'Mumbai Avengers'.

"Whenever there is a political backdrop, the film will be banned in the other country. Our topic is not about the ban on the film, but we are amused that a terrorist has gone and filed a petition that we are spreading poison against Pakistan. There has been no reaction like this... then why Hafiz Saeed's extremist views are being projected louder than a common man," Kabir told reporters here.

"Political organisations are supporting Hafeez Saeed or else how the petition of such a terrorist is being heard.

Hafeez needs to realize what he has done, and who is he to question or rather go against our films," he said.

The Jamat-ud-Dawah chief had on August 8 filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking a ban on the release of the Bollywood movie in Pakistan, alleging that it contains "filthy propaganda" against the country.

"I am surprised and amused that a wanted terrorist has gone and filed a petition. He is the one who is spreading hate agenda and he is opposing the film, without even knowing what the film is about.

"I cannot comment on how a plea by a most wanted terrorist is being heard by the Lahore High Court. We should actually avoid this topic, but the media was very interested to talk about it and so we are here," Kabir added.

However, the "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" director is clueless about his next course of action.

"I have no idea about course of action because we haven't got any letter. The proceedings are going on in the Pakistani courts and we are not involved in that. If we get a letter to reply, then we will see the content and then reply," the filmmaker said.

Kabir insists a filmmaker should have the liberty to express his view point.

"If you are making a film, you should be allowed to express what you want to. One shouldn't think if I do this it might get banned that way you will never be free with your creative process you will not be able to say things," Kabir said.

"Of course you should not be offensive or deliberately do something that would hurt sentiments of a country. I am finding this incident unfortunate because a person who is divisive is actually trying to represent himself as the face of the country. The film is anti-terrorism," he said.

Kabir thinks there should be people to people friendship between citizens of India and Pakistan.

"There should be people to people friendship which we should talk about. The moment you go political there is a certain perception... it is sad that these elements prevent people to people friendship," Kabir said.

"Unless these elements are removed from the society... there will be no true warmth between people of these two countries. (If) these elements are not stopped we will never be able to generate good environment," he said.

Meanwhile Kabir is happy with the response to "Bajrangi Bhaijaan".

"I am really happy with the love and respect that the film is getting. I did not offer 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' to Aamir Khan ever," he clarified.

His upcoming Indian political thriller stars Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif. It releases on August 28.

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