LAHORE: Veteran glamorous Indian film star Zeenat Aman says artistes and craftsmen in both India and Pakistan must interact with each other as talent has no borders.
“Politicians may have different views. I am talking as an artiste,” she said at a news conference held at a local hotel before she inaugurated the three-day cultural, fashion, music and culinary lifestyle event Shaan-i-Pakistan – Kya Dilli Kya Lahore, along with Indian chef Mujeeb-ur-Rehman and singer Rekha Bhardvaj here on Sunday evening.
Flanked by event organiser Huma Nasr and Indian choreographer Prasad Bidapa at the news conference, the Indian actress, model and beauty queen, best known for her work in Hindi films during the 1970s and 80s, said good people were everywhere (India and Pakistan). “I wish them peace and harmony.”
Answering questions about cultivation of good relations between the two countries and whom she would particularly like to meet during her stay in Lahore, she said that she was for everything meant for bringing peace and harmony.
Indian thespian speaks to media after inaugurating festival
She spoke highly of Lahore which she was visiting for the first time. “I should have come here much earlier. The city is beautiful and its people are largehearted. I want to visit the Walled City. Many from Peshawar starred in our film industry and Lahore too was the hub of films before the partition. I would like to see the entire city,” she said.
She said her son was acting in a film along with a Pakistani television hero, and she would return to Pakistan upon its release. “Give the children the same love which you have given to me,” she urged the media.
“Delegations from Pakistan would call on only the legendary Dilip Kumar during my heydays. But his wife Saira Bano would call me on their demand. And the affection you are showing equals the one shown by your countrymen who met me at the height of my popularity,” she said.
Ms Aman told the journalists about her visit to M M Alam Road and some other places during the day to buy clothes that her younger acquaintances had asked her to bring, and the local food she ate.
“We both have common music, culture and craftsmanship. But Indian girls are mad after Pakistani fashion. I have bought a lot of khadi shalwar kameez suits.”
She said she would act in a film if the role was age-appropriate, averting questions about her past life. “I am in my 60’s with grown-up children. Let’s talk of them and the event for which I have come here,” she politely said.
Zeenat Aman whose father Amanullah was one of the writers for the classic “Mughal-e-Azam”, had arrived here via Wagah Border on Saturday. She and other members of the Indian delegation are scheduled to return home upon the conclusion of the event on March 23.
Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2016