Bollywood to star in Lahore Basant

Karishma and Kareena Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Shushmita Sen, Sanjay Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Rishi Kapoor and Neeto Singh, Yash Chopra, Rakesh Roshan, Mahesh and Pooja Bhatt are just some of the Bollywood giants who have been invited by their Lollywood counterparts to spend this Basant in the city.

Most of these actors already have a Pakistani visa and others were in the process of getting one, said film director and writer Asif Ali Pota. He said the proposed programme includes a night at the Lahore Fort, which will be recorded by Prime Television, UK, and a dinner in Karachi hosted by the designer BG.

Samina Peerzada will be in India next week to work out the details of her upcoming project, which will be written by Mahesh Bhatt and directed by her. Both Mr Bhatt and his actor daughter are expected in Pakistan for Basant, said Ms Peerzada. They were only recently in Karachi for the Karo Film Festival.

Mr Bhatt has also been invited by actor Resham, who said she also expects Karan Johar to show up for the grand spring festival.

Actor turned director Javed Sheikh said he’s in touch with Randhir Kapoor and has signed on Kareena Kapoor for one of his upcoming films. Mr Sheikh said he has not yet formally invited any Bollywood actors to Lahore for Basant but would after the Pakistani government finalises rules for joint Indo-Pakistan productions.

Other filmmakers said they had invited Shilpa Shetty and Akshay Kumar and that the two would be arriving ahead of Basant. Preity Zinta, who shot to fame in Dil Chahta Hai, has apparently turned down an invitation to visit Pakistan out of pressure from Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. “This is unfortunate,” said a filmmaker not wishing to be identified. One of Pakistan’s most famous socialites Yusuf Salahuddin said he would be inviting the Bollywood visitors to his annual Basant bash at the Haveli Baroodkhana in addition to other guests from Europe and America

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