Renowned singer Shafqat Amanat Ali is not happy with the unofficial ban imposed on Pakistani artistes working in India in 2016. The singer wonders why there is no exchange of artistic talent between the two countries when all other trade relations are intact.
Talking to Indian news agency IANS, Shafqat expressed that the entertainment industry is a soft target and it is high time India lifts the ban that prevents Pakistani artistes from performing in the country.
“Art and entertainment industry is a soft target. They know that they can’t fight back, so just ban it. It is very easy. Otherwise, there is lot of trade that is happening between India and Pakistan,” Shafqat said.
“If you go to the Attari-Wagah border, one can see trucks bringing goods and exchanging goods from both the sides. That import and export business is running full-fledged,” he said adding, “If we stop that, it would lead to chaos. But they know that if they put a ban on artistes or actors or people who are related to art, they will express themselves through media or social media platforms. Nothing else.”
Shafqat said that there “is a lot of other stuff which we can do positively and we are not doing that.”
As a result of the ban, Shafqat’s 2016 Bengaluru concert was cancelled. However, he has sung for Indian projects like Mulk, Ishqeria and Bhaiaji Superhit, but there have been no live shows.
When asked if he misses performing in India?
“Of course, I do. If you talk to people who visited Pakistan to support their team in the last India-Pakistan match, (they will say) they went back after a very emotionally charged trip. They were given so much love. And we also received a lot of love, respect and appreciation for our work in India. I miss performing in India and it is high time that they lift the ban,” he said.