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Does Pakistan Need Bollywood?

Pakistani artists make big and increase their market price in Pakistan with their Bollywood tag

No denying in saying that Pakistani artists have been doing great in Bollywood and have earned big names in return of their contributions to the world’s second largest entertainment industry. With a tag of a Bollywood celebrity or having a Bollywood experience to their credit, these Pakistani artists are now earning quite handsome amount in their own homeland – Pakistan. And, yes, the drowning Pakistani entertainment fraternity is willing to pay whatever is demanded by these Bollywood stars. But ‘why’ they are being paid high when the industry is falling down and needs boost up? Well, the straight answer is very clear – Lollywood and even the entire Pakistani entertainment fraternity need their support to stand up. Cinema industry in Pakistan, which once was flourishing decades back, has started its revival procedure. And in this process, Bollywood returned Pakistani artists have been stretching their hands for its support.

With a Bollywood tag, they are now treated with utter respect and their recognition is much higher than other brigade of Pakistani stars. Sensing this importance, they do not leave any stone unturned to encash their worth. From Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to Atif Aslam to Adnan Sami Khan or even to others like Shafqat Amanant Ali Khan – all have proved their mettle on Hindi entertainment soil. Today, their demands are acknowledged with respect. Recently Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, internationally renowned playback and qawwali singer, was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree by Oxford University. The Sufi Qawwal and vocalist also enjoys a good rapport with international stars and bigwigs of the world. This all is due to Bollywood. The stardom Bollywood has endowed him could not have been possible being attached with Pakistani entertainment industry. His Bollywood songs soared his popularity graph to such heights that today he is supremely successful and one of the highest paid singers in India and Pakistan. The like of Mukesh Ambani sends his private jet to fetch the singer to perform at his parties. Many other perks like these, Rahat relishes with and the credit goes to Hindi filmdom which made him the star. Today not only he but also all other Bollywood returned Pakistani stars are packed with handsome amount of works with colossal pay cheques. These stars should not be termed Bollywood returned in actual since they still work in the giant entertainment industry to intact their international stardom.

pakistani artistsAlthough Pakistani artists have been showing their prowess in Bollywood since the outset such as ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, Nazia Hassan (late), Reshma (late), Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (late) to many others, but the junk that turned to Bollywood started in early 2000 when the leading actor Jawed Shaikh paved way to others to join Hindi cinema brigade. Starred in merely minor roles, this leading Pakistani actor got the Bollywood tag to further boost his career graph in Lollywood and the man succeeded. The same goes for the likes of Atif Aslam (who has been doing well in Bollywood playback singing), Shafqat Amanat Ai Khan and others. Even Ali Zafar, whose career drowned after instant popularity in Pakistan, started making his public relationing there and got work. Now he is well-reputed in his homeland.

pakistani artists

pakistani artists

Since I have been associated with Bollywood journalism since long time and because of my profession, I have been in good association with industry. I remember when Ali Zafar had started using Bollywood public relation companies to get work way back in 2004-2005. I was also provided press releases on the star by PR companies. The constant use of PRs finally got him work there when the stories on him began rolling in Indian media and across the globe.

pakistani artists

Pooja Bhatt launched Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in her movie ‘Paap’ and in this same movie Pakistani pop sensation Ali Azmat too was roped into singing. Rahat sang the semi classical song ‘Mann Ki Lagan’ written by famous Pakistani poet Amjad Islam Amjad. The song became an instant hit making the singer the big star overnight. Later Rahat took time to grow in Hindi film industry.

pakistani artists

It was in 2005 when Tips Industries gave me the task of seeking a very beautiful actress from Pakistan to star in its upcoming movie opposite Harbhajan Mann. The producers wanted something like Pakistani beauty queen. Well, the movie later shelved due to some their own reasons. Those days, Tips Industries was also on the lookout to launch Pakistani singers, they approached me for the task. I provided them the list of famous Pakistani singers and among them Rahat’s name was also enlisted. The casting director asked me about Rahat specifically. I told him that he was the one who sang ‘Mann Ki Lagan’ for Pooja’s movie. He said ‘this is the singer he wants’. When I uttered to him about the lyricist’s name, he asked me to help him contact Amjad Islam Amjad as he liked the poetry a lot. Few years after ‘Mann Ki Lagan’, Rahat was superstar in filmdom.

pakistani artists

Legendary lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar once told to a Pakistani news channel’s host ‘they (Pakistani industry) need us not we (Bollywood) to grow’. To a larger extent, ‘yes’, he is right looking at Pakistani artists’ constant visits to Bollywood. Every kid in Pakistan grows watching Hindi movies and their icons are not Pakistani movie stars but Bollywood stars. Bollywood’s fan following is tremendously high in Pakistan and this had given the way to the screening of Indian movies there.

pakistani artists

In a capsule, Bollywood is not limited to India only rather has surpassed the boundaries and exists everywhere in the world.

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Pakistani artists make big and increase their market price in Pakistan with their Bollywood tag No denying in saying that Pakistani artists have been doing great in Bollywood and have earned big names in return of their contributions to the world’s second largest entertainment industry. With a tag of a...

About Goher Iqbal Punn

Goher Iqbal Punn is a popular Bollywood Analyst, Film Critic, Columnist and a Celebrated Writer. Punn has more than 20 years of experience and has worked with BBC, Indian Express, The Post and a number of other publications across the world. Media giants often approach him for his valuable opinions on Bollywood and entertainment industry. The likes of Newsweek (USA), Christian Science Monitor (USA), The Sunday Times (The Times from UK) and many others have taken his opinions on Bollywood and Its celebrities. Goher can be contacted at, &