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Artistes not bound by politics

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Mumbai (UNI): The three Pakistani comedians who have made it to the seven finalists of 'The Great Indian Laughter Challenge Dwitiya' telecast on Star One are overwhelmed by the response of Indian audiences. Irfan Malik who performs with Ali Hassan told UNI ''Star One is not seen in Pakistan. But, the SMSs from Indian audiences have brought me and Ali Hassan to the finals. Artists know no political boundaries. We had come to win over Indian hearts and they have won over us. Indian audiences have encouraged our talent.'' Ali Hassan who partners Irfan in stage performances is extremely happy with the fact that through one show, they have become extremely popular on television as comedians.

Irfan said ''even though Star One is not seen in Pakistan, the programmes are available in pirated CDs.'' The producers of the Laughter Challenge show wanted some Pakistani actors so they contacted Eveready pictures headed by Satish Anand which has an office in Karachi, Irfan added. Rauf Lala says he is open to Bollywood offers if there are good banners and good roles. ''Of Indian comedians, I like Paresh Rawal. He was simply brilliant in Hera Pheri,'' he said.

Rauf (40) has done theatres and movies in Karachi. He has also worked with the legendary comedian Umar Sharif and script plays as well. He has traveled across the globe and said that India was the only place left before. The show gave him the perfect platform to reach out to Indian audiences. Ali Hasan and Irfan Malik say they are called as the Laurel and Hardy of comedy because of their excellent chemistry on and off stage. Specialising in slapstick comedy, the duo have entertained audiences around Pakistan and also dabble in theatre. All the three love the movie Hera Pheri and consider 'Umar Sharif' their.

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