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Mahira Khan has been making headlines throughout her London trip. In an interview with Stephen Sackur on HARDtalk on BBC World News, she has apparently spoke in detail about working in Bollywood, the impact of the political tension between India and Pakistan on the countries’ film industries, and the controversies that she has been embroiled in.

Speaking of controversies, Mahira said that the episode with Ranbir Kapoor was the first time that she was caught in one.

Read More: I represent every woman in Pakistan – Mahira Khan

The Humsafar star’s photograph with Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor surfaced from New York in September last year, months after the actress’ Bollywood debut Raees released.

Describing how it became a “national topic and debate,” she said: “That was the first time in my entire career that I was caught up in a so-called controversy and it was strange because there were so many things in that. One, obviously you feel violated, you are in a personal downtime moment and someone has just photographed you.”

“Two, obviously there was an uproar because here I was, someone who is extremely loved in Pakistan, and they sort of keep me up on this pedestal you know, they treat me with a lot of love and a lot of respect. And there are certain things I didn’t realise that they don’t want to see me do.”

“At that point yes, it was crazy, honestly because it lasted for a while… It was crazy, it was ridiculous.”

As for her film Raees, opposite Shah Rukh Khan, getting banned in Pakistan and her not being able to promote it in India, she says it only became a victim due to the political tension between the two countries.

“I was more excited about Raees being released in Pakistan than anywhere else because all I wanted was to sit there with my best friends and my child Azlaan and the audience and watch this and I couldn’t.”

Read More: I had two dreams when I was growing up: Mahira Khan

“The Pakistani censorship board deemed Raees as an “ugly, horrible, unacceptable depiction of Muslims” at the time. Mahira feels had the movie released at any other time, it would not have been banned.”


Mahira Khan speaks candidly with Stephen Sackur about social issue film Verna and more for BBC HARDtalk.


“I think their decisions sometimes are based on things that don’t even concern the film sometimes. So you know I don’t think that was the reason. They said it but I don’t know. I don’t know if ‘Raees’ was released today, would it be released,” said the Zaalima.

“It was a two-way thing. We got stuck under the political fire really, nothing else.” However, she also clarified, “Pakistan is still showing Indian films, we haven’t banned Indian films at all.”

Mahira is currently filming for 7 Din Mohabbat In and Maula Jatt 2.

  • The full interview will air on Monday, March 26 2018