Waar will pair Shaan and Abbasi against each other for the first time. However, the two will also be seen in similar roles in the upcoming Zeba Bakhtiar project Operation 021. “Shaan is already popular and has done a lot of films over the last decade. I don’t know how the combination will work out but I think my main goal is to be part of something that changes the industry,” says Abbasi. Pitched as a stylish, visual effects-laden action thriller, Waar has created quite a buzz. Abbasi is quick to highlight its pre-release popularity. “This is the first time I have seen such a wave of patriotism surrounding our film industry — it is filling people with hope,” he says. He appreciates the out-of-the-box approach of talented young director Lashari, who is making his debut in feature films with Waar. He claims to have turned down Bollywood director Vishal Bhardwaj’s offer to act alongside Priyanka Chopra, to stick to Lashari’s vision. “This is now on the record. He [Vishal Bhardwaj] got a little upset [by my decision] but I explained that it was important for my country. This is the first time a project of this scale is being done and I can’t just ignore it,” says Abbasi.