Singer-turned-actor Ali Zafar’s last Bollywood project was back in 2016 titled Dear Zindagi which starred Bollywood bigwigs Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt. However, in a recent development, the Tere Bin Laden actor has said that he does not want to collaborate with Khan any time soon. Rather, he appeared to suggest to Khan to not work with him given the political tensions between Pakistan and India.
Speaking to Connect FM Canada, Zafar was asked about his experience of working with Khan and whether fans will see them share the screen together anytime soon. In a rather suggestive tone, he said, “Yaar abhi filhal to woh mere saath na hi collaborate karein. Wahan pe aise hi mushkilein barh jaati hain (He shouldn’t collaborate with me as of now. Problems [political] there develop just like that).”
While he asked SRK to not work with him to avoid political tensions, he doesn’t seem to have the same opinion about a musical duet with Shehnaaz Gill. Expressing an interest in collaborating with the 28-year-old singer, Zafar said, “Shehnaaz, if you are interested, I would love to collaborate with you on one of my songs,” hoping the messages reach Gill soon.
Zafar, who made his Bollywood debut with the 2010 film Tere Bin Laden, has appeared in nine Indian projects so far. After the Uri terror attack in September 2016, Pakistani artists were reportedly banned by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena from working in Bollywood. Initially, rumour mills also said that Zafar would be replaced from Dear Zindagi amid boycott calls but the released film saw his role intact.
The All Indian Cine Workers Association announced a total ban on Pakistani artists after the Pulwama terror attack in 2019. The films that were already filmed with Pakistani actors were released namely Dear Zindagi, the Fawad Khan-starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Mahira Khan’s Raees among others. However, these already filmed movies were the last lot where we saw Pakistani actors in Bollywood films.