Pakistani actor Mikaal Zulfiqar, who has been a part of several Pakistani shows and a few Indian and Pakistani films, has said that Bollywood exploits Pakistani actors. During an interview on The Knock Knock Show, Mikaal, who has worked with Akshay Kumar in Baby (2015) and in Shoot on Sight (2017) with Naseeruddin Shah, cited his prior experience of working in Bollywood, and said that Indian filmmakers often cast Pakistani actors in stereotypical roles. Also read: Mahira Khan reveals she battled depression after backlash to her role in Raees
‘Pakistani actors portrayed unfavourably in Bollywood’
“India jo hai hamesha advantage leta hai ek Pakistani actor ka. Ab woh kis tarah leta hai? Somewhere down the line woh apse aisa ek kaam kawayega jisme yeh dikhaya jayega ki yeh ek Pakistani actor aya hai, ya toh the role that you are given is such (India always takes advantage of Pakistani actors, either you are made to do something that shows you are a Pakistani or your role is portrayed in such a way).” The actor further said he was content working in Pakistani films and shows if he was not treated as an equal to Indian actors.
‘Small Hindi film roles not worth getting mocking for’
Mikaal added, “To be honest, I don’t think bohot notable roles woh dete bhi hain, main ab pichle 10-20 saalon ki baat kar raha hoon, jo mera career hai uske hisab se. Usse pehle kya hua mujhe woh nahi pata. And my reason for that is that I don’t mind jab tak equal grounds pe liya jaye aur hume uss tareh na portray kiya jaye. It is what we deserve, level-playing field pe hume khada karein. Just to do a supporting role, koi aisi cheeze karna jis se aapkta mazak yahan ude, it is not worth it. So jab level-playing field hoga tab theek hai, other than that we are fine here (As far as what I have seen in my career, I think Pakistani actors are not on an equal footing in Indian films. Just for a supporting role if you are made it do something that will be made fun of in Pakistan, then I am happy to be working only in our films and shows).”
Mikaal Zulfiqar’s career
Before the 2016 ban on Pakistani artistes in India, many of them achieved stardom here as well, such as singer Atif Aslam and actors Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan, among many others. Mikaal Zulfiqar himself has worked in a few Hindi films. He made his film debut in 2007 with Bollywood crime thriller film Godfather starring Vinod Khanna, followed by roles in Shoot on Sight (2008), Aron Govil’s U R My Jaan (2011) and Baby (2015).
In Pakistan, he has worked in shows such as Pani Jaisa Piyar and Shehr-e-Zaat and movies such as Cake (2018), Na Band Na Baraati (2018) and Sherdil (2019).