Mumbai: Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan has said it is a shame that Pakistan's Censor board has banned the release of 'Agent Vinod' in that country.

The Bollywood film has been banned in Pakistan as the movie contains references to the ISI that could hurt the sentiments of Pakistani people. "It is a shame that the movie is banned, with no offence to anyone, as the idea is to have open films between the two countries. I was proud that this film was to release there," Saif said at an event here on Wednesday.

"In fact the heroine in our film is a Pakistani girl. We were hoping that they would appreciate that," he added.

The 41-year-old actor, who plays a RAW agent in the film with girlfriend Kareena Kapoor in the female lead, said that "Agent Vinod" has drawn references from the real-life tension between Pakistan and India.

"This is a realistic kind of a thriller. We have shown that there are some negative elements in Pakistan towards India and their Censor have a problem showing that. We have shown a few most-wanted criminals, those that are harboured in Pakistan, which is a known fact. May be they have taken offence to that. But ultimately we want a RAW agent to win and baddies to lose. If they are uncomfortable with that then they should publicise that fact that they are banning Agent Vinod in Pakistan," said Saif. The actor also said that the ban in Pakistan will also lead to increase in its piracy.

"Pakistan forms a large portion of our audience. The minute you put a censorship or ban, people will make sure they watch it. And we want them to see the film. In fact we wanted them to see the mujra performed by Kareena. "It is a shame that they could not see the film in the best way possible. But we tried our best," said Saif. "Agent Vinod" releases in India on March 23.

(Agencies)