LAHORE - The phrase ‘art has no boundaries’ seems to be proving wrong, as a popular Indian TV channel, Zindigi, which was the only one to air Pakistani plays and shows, has stopped their telecast in a move against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech in support of Kashmir in UNGA.

The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra based Navnirman Sena gave 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani actors and musicians to leave in the wake of Uri attack.

Dr Subhash Chandra, the chairman of Zee Group which aired Pakistani plays in India, tweeted yesterday: “Unfortunate stance of Mian Sharif at UN. Zee is considering stopping Zindgi programs from Pak,as well artists from there should leave”.

Later he tweeted: “Will not shut down Zindgi channel but revamp programming without Serials from Pakistan, we will have Indian subjects on Muslim community.”

Over the years, Pakistani artistes have been making bonds with the Indian entertainment industry. The Nation reached to some of the prominent personalities of Pakistani TV and film industry for their views on the development.

Sultana Siddiqui, President of Hum Network Limited, said that the move by the Indian side was wrong and Pakistani counterparts should at least follow the Pemra rules designed to restrict the foreign content to be aired to only 10 percent. “The situation here is completely opposite as our TV channels air Indian content in excess, which is against Pemra rules,” she said.

She termed the voices rising in India for all Pakistani artistes to leave the country as ‘shameful’ and called for ignoring them. Sultana was of the view that we should also appreciate the Indian artistes and people who are coming forward in support of Pakistani artistes and are snubbing the hysterical stance of a small number of people.

Actor and producer Khalid Anum said that these are the naïve voices rising from Indian soil and we should not listen to them. He said that if a small minority of the Indian society was demanding for ban on Pakistani dramas, we must hear the voice of majority, which is welcoming.

“Pakistani artistes have proved themselves in India. They have impressed Indian producers and proved their mettle. Atif Aslam, Fawad Khan and Ali Zafar are household names in India. War hysteria is no good thing and the escalating situation should be avoided as it may damage relations between the two countries,” Anum told The Nation.

Actor Azfar Rehman maintained that artistes are ambassadors of peace. “Sending Pakistani artistes back shows ‘real intentions’ of hardliners there.

“Many Indian artistes frequently visit our country. Recently veteran actor Om Puri who worked in a Pakistani film, Nandita Das attended the Literary Festival here, Zeenat Aman was here and Shabana Azmi also came to Pakistan. Pakistani people whole heartedly welcome Indian artistes but the ban on Pakistani plays in India shows the real face of a minority faction which should be countered,” Azfar added.

Actor Ghulam Mohiuddin was of the view that India has been doing a lot of things against Pakistan. “Need of the hour is to counter these moves. Pakistan government has not taken any concrete steps and made policies to ensure safety of artistes working in India,” he said.