Culture is the only way to bridge the divide between India and Pakistan: Vishal Bhardwaj
The renowned director, screenwriter, producer, music composer and playback singer, spoke about the role of films in uniting countries, at the Pakistan International Film Festival
Cultural exchange is the only way to bring India and Pakistan closer as politics has failed to achieve that, says Indian filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, who feels that together the two countries can be a "great force" in the world.
Bhardwaj, who was visiting Pakistan after five years, was among the Indian filmmakers who attended the Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF) 2018 that concluded yesterday. He was a part of multiple panel discussions that took place as part of the festival and featured other artists from India and Pakistan.
"I love Pakistan. Whenever I come here, I find a reason to come back again. I don't find any changes here, the only change I have found is that the love for us has increased," said Vishal Bhardwaj.
On cultural exchanges between the two countries and how they can bring them closer, he said, "I think this is the only way to bring normalcy between the two countries; more cultural events can bridge the gap. And it's very sad that we are always at loggerheads. We all are alike. If we come together, we'll be such a great force in the world in terms of everything - culturally, economically as well as politically."
He added, "Generally, there are two ways to bridge the gap -- cultural and political. Politics has failed to achieve that. In fact, political situation has been affecting cultural exchanges too. Therefore, culture should be left alone. There is a need for tolerance and acceptance from both ends. It has to be a two-way thing otherwise it won't work."
Vishal Bhardwaj also spoke about the popularity of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in India. He said, "If bias against Pakistani actors had been there, the masses wouldn't have gone to watch their films. So, there is nothing against them in the heart of masses."