A 49-second video where Pakistani actress Saba Qamar recounts the humiliation she felt at being singled out at an international airport for holding a Pakistani passport has gone viral.
The actress, who starred along with Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan in Hindi Medium, breaks down as she narrates the story.
She says:“We boast about Pakistan. We say Pakistan is this and that. But when you go out of the country and the way we are checked, I can’t tell you. I feel so humiliated the way I am frisked. I remember I want for a shoot in Tbilisi (Capital of Georgia) and my entire Indian crew was allowed to go. But I was stopped because of my Pakistani passport.”
Qamar says she was cleared only after thorough checking and an interview and expressed sadness that her country was viewed as a nation that supports terrorism. “That day I realised, that this is our position. Where do we stand?”
Qamar is one of the highest paid actresses in Pakistan, and she has worked in both television and films. She has also won several awards, including a Nigar Award and Hum Awards.
The video has gained a lot of sympathy from Twitter users, with many pointing out that not just Pakistani actors, but big names in Bollywood, too, have been treated in similar fashion.
In October 2016, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan took to Twitter to say he was once again detained at Los Angeles airport by the US immigration department. It was the third such instance Khan, who was first detained in 2012.
Voicing his frustration, the actor wrote, “I fully understand & respect security with the way the world is, but to be detained at US immigration every…time really really s****.”
South Indian actor Kamal Hassan is another celebrity who often gets suspicious looks from US immigration officials for his Muslim sounding name. But he feels we shouldn’t be so touchy about their immigration rules.