Pakistani daily rues Osama film shoot disruption in India

Islamabad: The disruption by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of Hollywood director Kathryn Bigelow`s film shoot in the Indian city of Chandigarh on Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden`s killing was unfortunate, a leading Pakistani daily said Monday.

An editorial in the Dawn said that originally, the set-up in Chandigarh was to establish the `Pakistani feel` for Bigelow`s interpretation of the hunt for Osama bin Laden that led to his killing in Pakistan`s Abbottabad town May 2 last year.

"But the climax is more likely to provide some in Pakistan a feel of the India they are comfortable with," it said.

It cited a report from Chandigarh recording a claim by "a right-wing Hindu leader about the presence of Pakistani flags on the set".

"A Pakistani flag flying in the streets of Chandigarh? How far is the coveted Lal Qila from there," the daily asked.

"This was too good an opportunity for hard-liners to not exploit. The activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad arrived in time to thwart the establishment of another Pakistan on Indian soil. The camera crew was abused, the flags and Urdu signs were removed..."

The editorial said that while sitting in Pakistan at a safe distance from the VHP, "the similarities between Chandigarh and Lahore are too many and too striking to be easily overlooked".

"The extremists in the two countries are like good friends helping each other along. This is hardly a justification. This is unfortunate and a fact. An act of extremism in one country is likely to beget two in the other.

"Hoping for an end to this mutually destructive process is difficult - even if it is not as impossible as wishing that directors such as Bigelow were allowed to shoot on original location," it added.