Amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) gave a two-day ultimatum to Pakistani artistes and actors to leave India, failing which the party said it will force them out.
The party also threatened that it won’t allow the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees in the country as the films feature Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, respectively.
The MNS Cine Workers Association, Chitrapat Karmachari Sena (CKS), issued the ultimatum. CKS president Ameya Khopkar said the presence of Pakistani artistes in India is not acceptable.
“How can we allow Pakistani artistes to perform in India when their country is busy killing our soldiers?” he said.
The MNS order will also apply to sportspersons and singers, the party added.
The party has also kick-started protests against Karan Johar’s film Ae Dil Hain Mushkil as it stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. The MNS said it is against the release of the film.
MNS vice-president Shalini Thackeray said wherever shooting for films or tele-serials with Pakistani actors was on after the deadline, MNS activists would go and stop them.
“We will provide adequate protection as and when required,” joint police commissioner (law and order) Deven Bharti said following the threat.
The ultimatum comes close on the heels of both MNS and its bête noire, Shiv Sena, upping their anti-Pakistan stance, demanding snapping of all ties with the neighbouring country following Sunday’s attack on an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri that killed 18 soldiers.
Even in the past, the MNS and the Shiv Sena have opposed the presence of Pakistani artistes and players in India. They forced cancellation of Ghulam Ali concert in Mumbai recently and also opposed a T-20 match between the two countries.
Earlier this week, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had asked the BJP government to take revenge of the Uri attack even as New Delhi launched a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan.
In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna, Sena had criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his “celebrated international status” would be of no use if he could not carry out a US-style attack on the country.
Watch: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil title track
Khopkar is known for his opposition to foreign artistes working in Indian films. Many members of his association even created ruckus on the film sets that employed foreign artistes.
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(With agency inputs)