Pakistan’s entertainment industry has undoubtedly faced a major blow following the coronavirus outbreak in the country. That’s not all, however. Many veteran Lollywood artists who were very popular in their heydays have also fallen victims to poverty and are in dire need of financial assistance. For this reason, artists from all across Pakistan have come together to form an organization – Pakistan Artist Equity (PAE) – in an attempt to empower the local entertainment industry. The new committee has representation from all visual mediums including TV, theatre, radio and film. Around 12 individuals in the organisation are actors who, in the past, have received the Pride of Performance award too, reported The Express Tribune.
At the federal level, Aurangzaib Laghari is the chairman while Shahid Nazir Khan is the president. In Punjab and KPK, renowned actors Shujaat Hashmi and Noshaba Khan are the Chairpersons, respectively. Actors Ayub Khosa and Ismail Tara are responsible for Balochistan and Sindh. “It is good to see that respected artists from all parts of Pakistan have united for a cause. The artist community has suffered a lot with many succumbing to death because of poverty,” senior PTV actor Inam Ullah told the publication.
He added, “The primary reason for this is that the government has turned a complete blind eye towards our problems. Our purpose is to strengthen the entertainment industry by bringing forth issues we face in a systematic way.” PAE members have already attended meetings with notable government officials, including Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Serwar. Their primary aim is to revive the film, drama and theatre circuit among other cultural activities. “We have held meetings with the Governor, Information Minister and MD of PTV over the role of government in the survival of the local industry. So far, the talks have been fruitful. Regional transmission on PTV that had ended previously have commenced again,” Shahid added. “At the federal level, we are doing our best in turning things around. Representatives from Sindh, KPK and Balochistan are also regularly meeting higher-ups to revive things at the provincial level,” he added. Actor Shiba Butt remained positive about a good change in the entertainment industry. She said, “I am confident that we will be able to achieve our desired objective: to facilitate economic growth in the entertainment industry.”