Karachi, July 17 : A Pakistani lady TV documentary producer was aghast at the people's behaviour immediately after she had finished shooting a talk-show in Karachi in which Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud's recent advances were being discussed by a group of fighters.
The fair-skinned extras, around 200 in number who appeared to be the supporters of Mehsud, gheraoed her car and banged her car's windows demanding for the tape and yelling that the just recorded TV show had abused their extremist leader.
The News quoted Rana Shaikh as saying that they had just finished shooting and turned to leave when the extras surrounded them in the car. "They banged at my window, saying give us the tape. You have been abusing Mehsud," Rana said. She tried explaining to them that they were repeating what had already been reported.
"I am hoping people realise that taking up guns will not solve the problem but will lead to more suffering and heartbreak," the paper quoted her as saying.
"Will this country be fit to live in?" she said and added that Pakistani society had completely failed to bring up its children with the sensibilities that should have come post-Partition.
"We never thought we needed a strategy for identity, something that India understood so well by banning foreign items after 1947," said Rana, and added: "It makes a difference to be surrounded by all things Indian. And, they built their academies, their movie halls. You could hear Bismillah Khan in a Delhi park for free. But, here and now, [our youngsters] can't decide what Pakistani is; we have been swamped by other cultures, particular Indian movie culture."
According to the paper, it was not just in Karachi that the crew encountered manifestations of the very topic of the film. Despite acquiring all the proper paperwork and authorisation, they ran into trouble at the Regent's Park mosque as well. They were shooting a nikkah sequence with one of the mosque's own clerics one day. All the girls were covered properly and Kirron Kher was present. A crowd of angry men burst in and hurled abuse at the crew, saying it was haram to film and a Hindu like Kirron Kher should not be inside such a holy place.
Thus, the making of the teleseries was a challenge. "It was at times depressing," Rana admitted. "I kept saying to my young associates what a dark story it was. And ever since [we started work on it], I have been noticing more and more of [extremism] around us. I am alarmed at the ferocity of people who think they are good Muslims," said Rana.