Since the news of Pakistani fundamentalist Hafiz Muhammad Saeed demanding a ban on the upcoming Kabir Khan film Phantom in Pakistan got out, the makers and cast of the film decided to interact with the media about the ban...
Kabir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Sajid Nadiadwala hosted a press conference earlier today as they decided to address the issue of JuD's chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, seeking a ban on their film Phantom in Pakistan. The film deals with fictionalised and real life events from the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that Hafiz Saeed was believed to be the mastermind of. When asked about his initial reaction to the ban at the press discussion, director Kabir Khan said, "We should actually avoid this topic, but the media was very interested to talk about it and so we are here."
Kabir went on to say that he was surprised when he heard about Saeed wanting a ban, "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 fully about." Saif on the other hand said that he was anticipating this ban. He said, "I thought from first that the film would be banned. I am not surprised because I had thought that they would have just assumed things without seeing the film fully."
The film's leading man went on to explain a little about Phantom and said, "All the people involved in the making are Indian Muslims, so it is a patriotic film. The film has a real case (26/11), it is half fiction and half on the real incidents. 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 a judgement."
Kabir also said that the possible ban on Phantom in Pakistan wouldn't really affect the film but he had different concerns. He said, "The ban doesn't affect the film as such, however the freedom to express and show your film is lost when you ban a film. Some elements in both the countries hold us back and prevent people to have a warm, friendly relationships."
Saif felt that people tend to over-react about films without knowing the content in its entirety. He said, "People want a semi-educational films with some geopolitical facts. Even if you try to portray Pakistan in the real light, they will ban it. The people would want to see it, I have family members there, others from the industry have family members there too and they didn't feel anything wrong with Phantom. I feel it's really funny and pathetic that a terrorist like Hafiz Saeed can file a petition in court and he is roaming freely in the country. I guess that's an ideal country!(jokes)"
Kabir Khan added to Saif's comments saying that he doesn't want politicians from both countries to get involved in this matter as he wants people to people contact. When asked about what course of action he would take if the ban is imposed Kabir replied, "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."
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