Against the backdrop of JuD chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed seeking a ban on the release of 'Phantom', Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan today said the film is based on facts and everybody knows who is responsible for 26/11 terror attacks.
Saif Ali Khan
Alleging that the film, set on post-26/11 attacks and global terrorism, contains "filthy propaganda" against Pakistan, Saeed had last week filed a plea in a Lahore court, through his advocate A K Dogar, pleading that the Saif-starrer film, which is scheduled to release on August 28, has "venom against Pakistan and Jamaat-ud-Dawa."
Reacting to it, Saif told reporters here that, "The film is based on facts and everybody knows what happened during 26/11 and everybody knows who is responsible for the same. We all know that terrorists are hiding in Pakistan, so why shouldn't we accept it? Why should we just make films on fictitious events?
"We know what the reality is. Is this a secret? Why can't we say this in open? Aren't there people who are dead for Indians but residing in Pakistan. You all know that right?" Saif said.
"If a wanted terrorist can go to the court of law in any country, I feel it's ridiculous. This is a sign of a really great nation that they entertain complaint by a terrorist," the 44-year-old actor quipped.
Directed by Kabir Khan, 'Phantom' is about post-26/11 attacks in Mumbai and global terrorism. The screenplay of the film has been written in co-ordination with author Hussain Zaidi, and is an adaptation of his book 'Mumbai Avengers'.
Saif said people should see the film before passing any judgement.
"Nobody is against Pakistan or their religion, but this is a different subject and Kabir has treated it in a nice way. I feel that the people should see the film before passing judgement," he said.
"The film 'Phantom' is half-fiction and half-fact. I am very proud of the film. This is a very honest film and take on the subject. We are not sensationalising terrorism in the film," he said.
Saif said they are not interested in slamming Pakistan.
"A lot of us who have families dating back to pre-Independence and pre-Partition would have families in Pakistan, especially Muslims. My family would also not like to do any film that bashes any community... nobody is interested in bashing Pakistan," he said.
"We have worked on these subjects earlier and we would like to give realistic point of view. Even if you try and portray things correctly... with Pakistan the thing is that they will even ban it. They will not even look at it even if there are some good and bad guys... there is some terrorist organisation and some Prime Minister who wants peace. They are not interested. This is my experience," he said.
While Saif was shooting for 'Phantom', he had an inkling that the film would be banned in Pakistan.
"When I was shooting for 'Phantom', I knew that Pakistan will ban the film without even watching it. I have made "Agent Vinod" and Kabir Khan (director) has made "Ek Tha Tiger" which were banned in Pakistan. So I am not surprised with the ban in Pakistan," he said.
The people involved in making 'Phantom' are Indian Muslims, he said.
"One important fact is all the people involved in making the film are Indian Muslims and I think we have a point of view and 'Phantom' is a very patriotic film. It is one of the most heroic films I have ever been offered," he said.
In the past, Saif did films like 'Agent Vinod' and 'Kurbaan' which had terrorism as a subject.
"I am attracted to such scripts ('Agent Vinod', 'Phantom'). I was happy that Sajid offered me the film. A great producer and a great director team has really made me realise my dream," he said.
The upcoming political thriller film is set to release on August 28.