Much rather break records than hearts : Saif on Phantom controversy

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Saif Ali Khan has cleared his side of the story after his comments about having "no faith in Pakistan" which came after the actor's recently released film 'Phantom' was declared a no-show in Pakistan.

The statements created a controversy across the border and to clear the air, Saif spoke at length with a Pakistani newspaper in which he categorically stated that his comments were made in regard with censorship and that he never meant to upset the people of Pakistan. Saif further stated that he did not mean to insult Pakistan's censor board either and stated that he has always maintained that the banning of the film must have its own reasons,

"First of all I'm nobody to say that I have faith or don't have faith in a country in general. My comments were made purely in terms of censorship. In the forum that we were discussing things we were told that the film is being banned before the censors have seen it. So my comment was purely in light of that. I've made 50 other comments in my own way trying to support our relationship with Pakistan. I never meant to upset the sentiments of the Pakistani people and artistes, who I wish the very best for always. If I didn't, I wouldn't have come there on shows and worked with Pakistani musicians and artistes in our production. Neither did I mean to insult the censor board. I have repeatedly said that they must have their own issues and pressures and laws but no one has noticed these comments of mine. I have worked with Fakhr-e-Alam on shows he was hosting in Pakistan and I thought we got along very well. I am a well wisher of his."

Saif apologized to the fellow artists of Pakistan and said,

"I'm very sorry if I offended you guys in some way. It was not meant to be that way. I think we share a bond just by being in the same profession that transcends politics and borders and this stuff. I would hate anyone to think I actually have any thing in common with the characters I play (apart from the very charming ones of course!). I mean I feel as much for Phantom as I do for Omkara and have less than nothing in common with the ideology of both."

Saif also stated that though he was disappointed with the banning of 'Phantom', he was not surprised as one of his earlier films, 'Agent Vinod', too had been banned in the country. He said,

"I was hoping people would see the film and discuss it. I was disappointed with the ban, but not surprised, as Agent Vinod had also been banned and that was never meant to be a serious and realistic film. It was an attempt at an entertainer. Also whenever we have presented Pakistani soldiers or even ISI agents in our films they have been what we thought as strong and complimentary portrayals."

Talking further about the banning of the movie, the actor said,

"I was not surprised when I heard it was banned in Pakistan, given that films (like Agent Vinod, Ek tha Tiger)on Indo-Pak subjects will obviously be told from the Indian point of view (no matter how balanced we think that is) and therefore will not allowed. I completely understand this. I was, however, surprised when I heard that a court banned it without even looking at the film."

Talking about 'Phantom', Saif said that it is a "mission movie",

"Phantom is a mission movie. It's a simple genre piece about one man being given a chance at personal redemption by going on storm, storm, from an extremely dangerous mission for which he will never get the credit and no one will care if he doesn't comeback. That was the romance of the story for me. It is about hunting down the masterminds of 26/11 across the globe."

Saif also talked about the backlash that was directed at him in light of his statements and stated that he wished freedom of speech and opinion could be respected and reflected upon how social media can bring together people like a "lynch mob". Commenting further on this negative nature of social media, Saif recounted how fellow actor Neha Dhupia was targeting for criticizing the government and made an appeal to everyone to leave her alone. He also had a few choice words for the ever controversial actor-producer Kamaal Rashid Khan,

"I think social media is the same everywhere; usually very useful but it can bring us all together like a lynch mob! I wish freedom of speech and opinion could be respected. In India I was appalled to see people going after Neha Dhupia for criticizing the government and I am also sorry to see so much vitriol against a liberal voice in this case. Please leave the girl alone. I hope nothing actually happens to her and she can work in peace soon. I for one am not on social media. We have idiots like Kamal Rashid Khan on it so I just can't! This is a joke."

Saif also addressed the other major controversy surrounding the film - Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) had reportedly wanted to sue the film for portraying them in an accurate manner - and said that is a non-issue and even joked about how the film was only meant to offend the terrorists and that he was glad David Headley had not sued them,

"Médecins Sans Frontières is a non-issue thank the lord! We are really beginning to sound like a bunch of offensive louts who don' know what we are doing! There is no problem. It's all been cleared up. We actually tried really hard to not offend anyone with this film (except terrorists of course.) Thank god David Headley hasn't sued us. That would really take the cake!"

He also talked about if he ever felt the pressure to prove his 'loyalty' being an Indian Muslim and was quick to wave away any concern of the sort. He stated,

"My parents were national figures and I was brought up with a secular outlook. . I am very secure and happy living in India. I have never felt the need to prove my loyalty to my country. I would be shattered if I had to. If anyone asks me to, I'll tell them my great grand uncle wrote the national anthem " beat that for nationalism!"

Saif closed his interview by stating that he loved so many things about Pakistan and that he is not a very political or judgmental person and that he is trying to figure out how quickly he got dragged into this controversy. He said,

"Lastly, I love my family in Pakistan and I love so many things about Pakistan. I am not a very political person or a judgmental one. I am an actor and an artiste. I'm still trying to figure out how quickly I got sucked into this .I tell you what: Indo-Pak subjects have been done to death! Total fatigue and boredom is on the cards if we don't stop! I for one would much rather release Race like we did and break records rather than break hearts and cause stress to us all."

'Phantom' has been directed by Kabir Khan and also stars Katrina Kaif.

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Comments

unfortunately its very unlikely he'll ever be able to break records

and people say Salman is the dumbest actually Salman is the smartest actor lol Salman who was always been a Megastar and Biggest Superstr refused to do movie like Phantom when EK Th Tiger was banned in Pakistan. Salman didnt comment such words that can hurt Pakstani people when the journalist asked him if he was mad about the Banned Salman said im not mad he said i will never hurt people in Pakistani

saif u rock

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