Indian actor Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif's movie 'Phantom' caused quite a stir in Pakistan and subsequently was banned from screening.
It has also resulted in a war of words between Pakistani actors Shaan Shahid and Mawra Hocane, who have taken to the social media and lashed out at each other.
Mawra Hocane had tweeted several messages stating that if 'Phantom' was anti-terrorism it should be supported.
Responding to a tweet she wrote: @RazaRaza45 #phantom is against terrorism. A terrorist can't belong to any country..A terrorist is a terrorist!"
Shaan Shahid. (Facebook)
Shaan took objection to the actress' tweets and called for her to be banned. He started a hashtag and it didn't take long for fans to respond and start the trend '#banmawra'.
Following Shaan's harsh call, Mawra penned an open letter for the actor and her fans.
Mawra received support from fans, journalists, columnist and colleagues including actress Mahira Khan.
"Open Letter to My Fans & Mr Shan Shahid:
My tweets were out of utter ignorance for I had not seen the trailer neither was I aware of the sensitivity of the matter back home for I've been shooting out of country days and nights, unfortunately not keeping a track on what all Mr Shan had already tweeted on the matter.
It was an instinctive reaction to a hate post in my feed and as usual I was trying to convince people not to hate "no mater what land they belonged to" ( the words majorly manipulated )
I also wrote that I want to make this world a better place where nobody hates nobody and THAT A FILMS CONTENT CAN NOT CHALLENGE THE DIGNITY OF MY COUNTRY AS PAKISTAN IS BEYOND A FILMMAKERS OPINION OF IT AND
IT’S DIGNITY IS WAY MORE SACRED FOR IT TO BE QUESTIONED BY A FILM. I consider films just "films" nothing more nothing less. (The tweets I never came across in Mr Shan's ban Mawra mission after the mission war he did three years ago) I apologise to my "Mawrellous family" for they're what keeps me going everyday and I'm sure for as much as they love me, to be forgiven by them for a tweet out of utter ignorance and naiveness. Although I still stand by love & peace and I will urge people NOT TO HATE.
However I'd also like to share that I'm extremely hurt & shocked for I don't expect someone as wise as Shan shahid to manipulate my statements of supporting peace & love into "supporting phantom" (the words I never Used).
Honestly I'm only just a kid infront of the 55 year old Shan shahid instead of taking pride in bashing kids less than half his age he should become a mentor and try and fix things for us, if we make mistakes.
We work so hard to achieve the love & respect in our people's hearts and he always attempts to ruin it for everyone in a jiffy. Be it me, Ali Zafar , Fawad khan or Someone as legendary as Javed Shiekh . He has always bashed everyone who's "stepped in India". It's about time he realise that it's not a piece of cake for me to be working in media, to be leaving my country and going to India alone in pursuit of my dream in the age of 22. It's at the cost of endless hard work and sleepless days and nights and it takes a big heart to take all these decisions and he certainly has no right to just sit home and bash us all publicly, be it on a social media forum or an award show.
It must have been easy to just manipulate what I had written that too as a reply to people criticising me for working in India.. You know what would've been difficult Mr Shan, to actually go through my feed
and read all that I had written and in what context and deduce my intention owing to my past records of my behaviour towards my fans and my country.
(p.s I've no complaints to my fans as they reacted to what they were fed)
He certainly can't take that away for me depending upon his personal mindset. He can't use my country's name and ruin people's lives and reputation. Every Time he can't begin a statement in "PAKISTAN's Name" in it and bash people and get away with it.
I'm sorry if my instinctive reply to any hate post I see is #saynotohate unlike him who leaves no chance of bashing people like me or Ali Zafar or anyone else for that matter who works across border. Sir,
Art is subjective and boundless, however quickly coming back to the topic, Hating others cant make you more a patriot, My heart goes out for my country I do everything in my power to become a better citizen of my Pakistan and I absolutely and dearly love it, you've no right to judge me and make a statement about me being any less patriotic for again bashing me won't make you anymore a patriot.
You know what Mr Shan shahid I will still rise every morning, work as hard, still pursue my dream, still go after what I'd like to achieve and still keep my head high. I don't need to love/like people like you to be a patriot. My love for my country and my people doesn't need your approval.
If My words were (unintentionally) hurtful then yes I will apologise to my own people for they've loved me through my good times and bad but I will certainly not be answerable to someone like you who doesn't work anymore and only sits home and bashes two categories of people, 1. women ofcourse because you're a man and 2. anyone who works in India because you still didn't get over turning down Ghajni a decade ago, it's an old topic now and you can't rub this in everyone's face who wants to work in india or elsewhere. (can't ignore the fact that you were offered a sidekick role. Things might've been different if it was offered otherwise)
Finally Coming to the "BAN" Mawra hashtag. Did anyone ban you when you pulled off the sleaziest of acts in Punjabi films ( I'd send in data if you've forgotten) which could've influenced kids like me in a bad way for I remember being 9 or 10 when you were really famous but now that you have retired you leave no chance to bash us youngsters???
Secondly Sir, the work that I've done, the projects that I've pulled off along with the best actors to exist in our fraternity today (like Adnan Siddiqui, Faysal Qureshi, Fahad Mustafa who are the real heroes of today and won't get ridiculous about me excelling in my career but In Fact appreciate me and encourage me ) and few projects that I've pulled off single handedly too were not given to me because
"YOU" approved of me. They were given to me strictly on merit, on my hard work, on me being skilful and ofcourse for the boundless Love I've been receiving from a Huge fan following from the age of 19. So you sir have no right to decide the fate of my career not as a person and not even as any prominent entity of the media. You don't belong to the censor association or the ban actors association. You need to realise that You must posses the power in the first place to exercise it on a person less than half your age out of sheer boredom and urge her fans to hate her that she must have earned over time with absolute difficulty and hardwork.
In the end, I still don't hate you, you know why because they say " Love what Loves you but never hate what hates you for hate is the burden that exhausts the Stars in you" I certainly don't want the stars in me to die for someone as unworthy as you.
I'm a brave Pakistani girl, a London graduate, a dreamer, a girl who won't get scared of the bashing for it's irrelevant compared to the dreams I carry in my Heart & mind everyday.
For me shooting in India is just like me shooting in Dubai, America, Cape Town or any other country so stop making a big deal about it regardless of my workplace I Love my country and I'll always belong to it without the approval of his excellency Mr Shan shahid and every inch of my existence will do everything to do Pakistan proud. I don't need to reject other countries work opportunities to prove my patriotism, PAKISTAN in is in my blood and soul regardless of your opinion of me sir!
(You must leave us kids alone as I'm politely asking you not to interfere in our matters and hinting that I don't intend to continue this war of articles with you for unlike you I've got so many other things to do in my plate like.. work. I wouldn't have given you a single reaction if it was not for you challenging my Love for my fans and for my country)
Not ready to take it lying down Shaan taunted Mawra again. With another Facebook post (without referring Mawra) he indirectly snubbed the young actress.
He wrote: "Our own when known they don't own what made them known.."
In an interview Mawra said, "Pakistan's dignity is way to scared be to challenged by a movie."