Director Kabir Khan: “We aren’t attacking Pakistan; we’re attacking terrorism in Pakistan”
As the first trailer of Kabir Khan's ‘Phantom’ was released, shock waves have been felt across India and Pakistan.
An anonymous filmmaker from Pakistan has said: "Kabir Khan was preaching peace between Pakistan and India just a month ago (in Bajrangi Bhaijaan). Now, he wants to incite Indian patriotic zeal by targeting Pakistan."
However, Kabir fights off all charges of provoking Pakistan. "What you see in the trailer of Phantom is not anti-Pakistan. It is anti-terrorism,” he defends.
“Pakistan is even more traumatised by terror attacks than we are.
“Terrorists attacked little children in Peshawar some time ago. It can't get any more brutal and lowdown than that.
“Phantom talks about bringing to book the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack in Mumbai. I repeat, we are not attacking Pakistan. ‘Phantom’ is, in fact, saying the same thing about India's relations with Pakistan that ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ did – and that is “eliminate hatred”.”
Kabir Khan does see the possibility of people in Pakistan perceiving ‘Phantom’ as an attack on their country, but insists it would be a fallacious reading of the plot.
“My writer Hussain Zaidi and I are saying, we need to bring perpetrators of terror attacks to book. Every right-minded Indian or Pakistani wants the same thing."
Kabir says the rhythm and feel of ‘Phantom’ are very different from that in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’.
"There is no singing and dancing in Phantom. This is a different kind of cinema from ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, though one we hope would be equally acceptable to the audience."