Bollywood’s date with Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif who visited India on the invitation of Narendra Modi met with Bollywood celebrities over tea hosted by steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal in Delhi. Nawaz Sharif is delighted to meet stars like Shabana Azmi, Hema Malini, Dharmendra and others. Mr Sharif was in the capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi.

Actress and social activist Shabana Azmi said that during interaction she came to know that Sharif is an admirer of her father Kaifi Azmi, singers Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar.

"Over tea at Sajjan Jindals'. Met Nawaz Sharif. delighted that he is fan of Kaifi saab, Lataji and Mohd Rafi," Shabana posted on Twitter.

The National award-winning actress said they discussed about the possibility of co-productions between the two countries.

"I said we need Indo-Pak co-productions. Nawaz Sharif said he gives his full support for films as co-productions between India and Pakistan. He brought the message of peace and will encourage exchanges," Shabana said.

Says a source, "He seemed to have a lot to share with Shabana Azmi about cultural exchange between India and Pakistan. Nawaz Saab is a big fan of Bollywood. He asked Shabana numerous questions about her father Kaifi Azmi, and about Lata Mangeshkar, Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. He also invited Shabana and her husband Javed Akhtar to Pakistan and wanted to know how he can invite Lataji and Bachchan Saab."

Shabana confirms, "Yes,I met Nawaz Sharif. He was most gracious and courteous. We had a conversation about our film industry. He's a big fan of my father, Lataji and Mohd Rafi Saab."

Shabana suggested that India and Pakistan must share cinematic space. Says the actress-activist, "Yes, I insisted that we have co-productions between India and Pakistan. He wanted to know if such attempts have been made in the past. I told him this matter needs to be addressed to the powers-that-be. He laughed and asked me, 'Am I among the power-that-be?' I said , of course." Shabana says the meeting was very fruitful. "And perhaps a precursor to the peaceful times ahead between the two countries."

Nawaz also met with veteran actors Hema Malini and Dharmendra and spend 30 minutes together on Tuesday after the swearing-in ceremony. He also met with veteran actor turned politician Shatrughan Sinha.