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Mehwish Hayat slams Bollywood for vilifying Pakistan

Pakistani actor and singer Mehwish Hayat extended a message of peace and harmony during a ceremony in Norway, where she was awarded the Pride of Performance Award by the country’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

In a video that is making rounds on social media, the Load Wedding star pointed out that Bollywood and Hollywood have ‘tarnished the image of Pakistan globally.’

“We in the film industry, carry a tremendous responsibility. Cinema is a very powerful tool and it has the ability to change people’s minds, behaviours and attitudes. I sincerely believe that Hollywood films and programmes, vilifying my country and portraying us as backward terrorists, has had a profound effect on the psyche of the west. It has greatly influenced what people think of Pakistan,” she said.

She added, “Bollywood could have used cinema to promote mutual understanding instead of vilifying us as they do. They need to decide what is more important, nationalistic fervour or a peaceful future,” she said.

On the occasion, she also named a few shows and movies that perpetuated harmful stereotypes such as Homeland, Zero Dark Thirty and The Brink.

“Our neighbours [India] have one of the largest film industries in the world and in a time where they could’ve used the power they yield to bring us together, what do they do? They make countless films showing Pakistanis as villains. I have lost count of the number of films even in the last year that Pakistan has been shown in a bad light.”

She remarked that she understand given our history, upbringing and politics of the region, it can be difficult to remain neutral and in being so, can be seen as unpatriotic. “They really need to decide which is more important – nationalistic fervour or a peaceful future,” said Mehwish.

Mehwish also mentioned about Kashmiri’s at the forum and highlighted the atrocities they have been decades.

“Like our Prime Minister Imran Khan said, if they [India] are willing to take one step, we are ready to take ten more,” she Mehwish. “I pray that common sense prevails and we are able to witness real peace in the region.”

Earlier, the actor had tweeted about the atrocities in Kashmir, taking to the social media platform to spread awareness of the situation.

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