Karachi, Apr 2 (PTI) Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj believes culture is the only thing that can act as a catalyst in mending the ties between Indian and Pakistan.

Bhardwaj was in Karachi to attend the Pakistan International Film Festival (PIFF). During the fest, he was a part of multiple panel discussions that featured other artists from India and Pakistan.

“I think this (culture) is the only way to bring normalcy between the two countries; more and more cultural events can bridge the gap. And it’s very sad that we are always at loggerheads. We all are alike; if we come together we’ll be such a great force in the world in terms of everything culturally, economically as well as politically,” Bhardwaj told The News International.

Addressing the ban on Pakistan artistes in India, the director hoped things will get better with time.

“I think we will eventually have to come back to reality sooner or later. I think it will get smooth with time because culture is the only way possible. Generally, there are two ways to bridge the gap: cultural and political.

“Politics is failing in achieving that for a long time. In fact, the political situation has been affecting cultural exchanges too. Therefore, culture should be left alone. There is a need for tolerance and acceptance from both ends. It has to be a two-way thing otherwise it won’t work,” he said.

Referring to the popularity of Pak actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, Bhardwaj said,”If bias against Pakistani actors had been there, the masses wouldn’t have gone to watch their films. So, there is nothing against them in the heart of masses. Whatever else is there, it is politically motivated otherwise how would have Fawad become a super star in India?” The “Haider” director, who visited Pakistan after five years, said he always enjoys coming to the country.

“It is going very good. I love Pakistan; whenever I come here, I find a reason to come back again. I didn’t find any changes; the only change I found is that the love for us has increased,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.