“So we’re trying to look out for each other"
Mahira Khan discussed the blending of cultures between artists in Pakistan and India, saying they cannot be vocal about their positive connections in order to “protect each other” and prevent being “scapegoats.”
Mahira Khan discussed her experience working in the Bollywood industry. She told Variety:
“I had the most amazing time working in India.
“I am still in touch with so many people and there’s a lot of love there.
“Unfortunately, we are easy targets, soft targets, whether it’s us here in Pakistan, whether it’s them there in India.”
According to Mahira, they share a strong understanding of one another and are bonded as artists:
“So we’re trying to look out for each other, more than anything.
“Even now, we are so careful with what we write on social media.
“It’s not that we don’t talk to each other. It’s not that we don’t wish each other on our birthdays. It’s not that we don’t meet each other in different countries.
“It’s not that — it’s just that we are actually not just protecting ourselves but protecting each other.”
The actress claimed that it’s political rather than personal:
“On both ends, until the time that scapegoats are needed, we will always be that.”
Mahira painted a hopeful vision, claiming that things would improve if the people in powerful positions did not exploit artists as convenient scapegoats.
She thought the resulting cooperation between artists and authority figures would be “lovely”.
Mahira Khan compared the 1979 cult classic Maula Jatt to the 2022 adaptation, stating that the image of women is very different, and described her character Mukhoo as “empowered”.
She said: “[Mukhoo] loved fearlessly, her moral compass was so intact, she had integrity and she was fierce also.
“That was a very big thing that the women in this, in today’s Maula Jatt, are very empowered.
“And I think this is something that a lot of people asked me prior to the release that, ‘Are we going to see the same 1970s representation of women?’
“I said, ‘No, you’re going to see Bilal Lashari’s representation of women’. I’m glad to have been a part of it.”
The Legend of Maula Jatt is currently planning to debut in Turkey and China after a tremendously successful run at the box office.
Joyland, a film by Saim Sadiq, is another Pakistani production which is performing exceptionally well across several countries.
In relation to the two, Mahira Khan asserted that we want more imaginative storytellers.
“Whether it’s Joyland, whether it’s Maula Jatt, the people at the helm of these projects are passionate.
“They have stories to tell and they are visionaries.
“We need more directors, more storytellers, who are telling stories from the heart.”