Pakistani director JavaidFazil has started shooting his latest film, IShall Return (Ek Din Lot Kar Aain Ga),in Mumbai, marking the first time that a Pakistani film has ever lensed in India.

Fazil, who started shootinglast week, had earlier gone to Mumbai with composer Javaad Ahmad to recordsongs with the voices of Asha Bhonsley and Sharya Ghonsal. The cast, mostlyfrom the television world, includes Humayun Saeed, Ahmad Butt, Saba Pervaiz andWaseem Abbas. The film is produced by Shoab Alam.

The production marks the firsttime in the history of Pakistani cinema that a local film has shot in India. Pakistani filmmakers have previously filmed outdoorscenes in the US, Europe, Middle East and East Asia but, due to political tensions, never in India.

However, the situation has recentlyeased with "people-to-people exchange" programmes and, in the last few years,several Pakistani film producers have recorded songs in Mumbai. This hasenabled them to take advantage of superior recording facilities, orchestraarrangements and the additional benefit of Indian playback singers who arehousehold names in Pakistan.

Indian films are notreleased commercially in Pakistan - apart from two in 1980-81 and four thisyear - although they're widely available nationwide on cable TV and VHS, VCDand DVD formats thanks to piracy.

Director Javaid Fazil is oneof Pakistan's top directors with credits including severalsuccessful films in the 1980s. He later turned to television and directedseveral popular serials. He is known as an expensive director who insists onhigh production values ranging from expensive sets and costumes to scenicoutdoor shots.