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There Is A Pre-conceived Notion About Pakistanis In General: Hina Khwaja

Lahore: Hina Khwaja Bayat, considered one of the pillars of the Pakistani entertainment industry, feels there is a preconceived notion about her country worldwide, and hopes that India and Pakistan soon learn to live like “good neighbours”.

During her two decades in the media industry, she established ground-breaking shows like Baatain Mulaqaatain, Uljhan Suljhan and Geo Hina kay Saath.

Her versatility as an actor was evident in a wide range of dramas like Humsafar, Talkhiyan, Aunn Zara and Zindagi Gulzar Hai where she has surprised the viewers in both Pakistan and India

In an interview, When asked that why Pakistani dramas have been so much admired by Indian audience?.She said that the first thing is reliability. Pakistani dramas have characters which are very real. Yes, they are dramatic, have twists and turns, but by and large , people like you and me just think, feel and behave in the same way.

Secondly: the duration of drama. The story is wrapped up in a maximum 26 episodes and that’s a lot.

When questioned that has she always been sure that Pakistani TV dramas would have a huge audience in India?, her reply was:

‘Even in the 1980s, Pakistani dramas had been very popular in India. I know that on the satellite and on DVDs, Pakistani dramas had already made a mark before Zindagi channel was launched. I know even from the industry itself, people like Amitabh Bachchan have been very vocal about appreciating our work, and it has created an impact.’

Sharing her ideas about whether this exchange of entertainment can ease the situation between India and Pakistan she said that she thinks that on the political front, we have to be realistic. Pakistan is an entity that is here to stay. India is an entity that has been there. We really and truly need to understand that fighting off or negating each other is not going to help either of us.

While expressing her views about a pre-conceived notion of Pakistan’s entertainment industry worldwide, the actress said:

‘There is a pre-conceived notion about Pakistanis in general. I have been a journalist and anchor in my own show. I used to go to a lot of conferences and everywhere I went, they looked at me and said, ‘Are all Pakistani women like you?’ They somehow confuse us with the Arabs. We are primarily Muslims, but we have huge communities of Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, even Buddhists and Christians. We also have a Jewish community.’

Hina opened up about how it feels to be an actress in Pakistan by telling that:

 For me, TV itself was a big step because I come from a family which is ‘liberally conservative’…who are quite liberal in thoughts and behaviour in the sense that we believe in good education and having a career, but showbiz was not something that they wanted me to step into.’

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