Fawad Khan in talks for a Shyam Benegal film for Indo-Pak peace

Owing to the strained ties between India and Pakistan, a ban has been imposed on artistes from across the border working in Indian. Amidst the ban and threat by a section of politicians, acclaimed filmmaker Shyam Benegal is planning to produce a film in an attempt to promote peace between the two warring nations.

Reportedly, Pakistani actor Fawad Khan has been approached for the film and the ‘Kapoor & Sons’ actor is in talks with the makers. The film is based on two musicians from India and Pakistan, who travel across both the countries and discover themselves during the journey. Tentatively titled ‘Ye Raaste Hai Pyar Ke’, the film would be directed by Harsh Narayan.

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Harsh confirmed that Fawad has been offered the role and the actor has also shown interest, but is sceptical, given the current situation.

"At the moment, he (Fawad) is sceptical about reactions to him working in an Indo-Pak co-production. He has shown a keen interest and will respond as soon as the present situation cools down. We are hoping he agrees to play the lead musician in the film," he said.

Harsh Narayan, a musician himself, has played a pivotal role in strengthening Indo-Pak ties in the cultural circuit.

Even though the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) has temporarily banned Pakistani actors from working in India and Raj Thackrey-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has warned filmmakers against employing actors from the neighbouring country, Benegal and Narayan are unperturbed.

Harsh further said, “Faiz Ahmed Faiz wrote the famous poem ‘Black-Out’ while the 1965 Indo-Pak war was underway. From 1947 till his death in 1984, Faiz composed poems in which he spoke lovingly about his land and its long-suffering people, their hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. I’m trying to capture that feeling through my film.”

The report added that filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt will serve as the creative advisor of the film as he believes this idea “has immense possibilities and it affirms life in a very elementary way.” He will be joined by the Pakistani writer-artist Salima Hashmi, daughter of Faiz Ahmed Faiz.