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In a 2019 interview with BBC Asian Network, popular actor Mehwish Hayat recalled how she was offered Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s role in Fanney Khan and Huma Qureshi’s role in Dedh Ishqiya, but she had to turn them both down.

While responding to a query regarding India’s treatment of Pakistani artists amid the rising tensions between the neighbouring countries owing to Kashmir, Mewhish said, “I think it is unfair because all our actors who have worked in Bollywood, are unfortunately, not given the kind of respect we deserve.”

She went on, “if you call an actor to play a part in a film and at the same time, you don’t let them attend its premiers or even allow them to promote their work… Nothing is more important than self-respect.” Mehwish reinstated that because of the mistreatment she observed, she made a conscious decision to stay in Pakistan and work for “my Pakistani cinema.”

To this, the host prompted, “You were offered Dairh Ishqiya alongside Madhuri Dixit and Fanney Khan; these are big films that you turned down…” So about refusing Dairh Ishqiya, Mehwish clarified that it was because she had an issue with one of the scenes in the film.

During the interview, Mehwish also expressed her happiness about being among the people shortlisted to receive a Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and addressed the criticism that came with the announcement. “I was flying so high it took me a week to let it sink in and being a public figure I was used to the trolling and criticism. But questioning my character and credibility is crossing the line.”

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