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Shah Rukh Khan: “I Will Never Work With Pak Talents In Future”

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Actor Shah Rukh Khan met with Maharashtra Navanirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray at his residence on Sunday evening in a bid to ensure the smooth release of his Raees, said an Indian Express report.

Reportedly, Khan promised the right-wing party chief that Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, his co-star in Raees, will not be brought to India for promoting the film. He also promised that he will never work with any Pakistani actors in the future.

Mahira Khan plays the female lead in the film, which is directed by Rahul Dholakia. Shah Rukh Khan plays the title role of Raees Alam, a businessman from Gujarat.

Earlier, the film’s co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani had said that Mahira might come down to India for the movie’s promotions since there was no governmental restriction on Pakistani actors entering India.

At the film’s trailer launch, Shah Rukh Khan had agreed to this. However, during the meeting on Sunday, Khan, in an aboutface, told the MNS chief that the rumours about Mahira Khan promoting Raees were false.

The Indian Express report quoted MNS’s Amey Khopar as saying that there would be no protests from MNS against Raees. “In the meeting between Raj Saheb and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Producers’ Guild that took place in October, it was decided all the films that have already been shot that has Pakistani actors in it will be allowed to release and going forward no Indian producer, director or actor will work with Pakistani artistes. SRK too agreed to the same in his meeting with Raj Saheb,” Amey said.

After the Uri terrorist attack on September 18, MNS had issued an ‘ultimatum’ for all Pakistani artistes and technicians working in Mumbai to leave the country. MNS had been in the forefront of protests against the release of filmmaker Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in October, for the film featured Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a pivotal role.

On October 18, Karan Johar submitted to the pressure and through a video message, talked about his love for his country, and also said that he will not ‘engage’ with Pakistani talent ever.

Also, Johar, accompanied by Producers’ Guild President Mukesh Bhatt, met Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis as well as MNS chief Raj Thackeray to reassure them that filmmakers would not work with Pakistani artistes in the future. They also vowed to make a Rs.5 crore donation to the Army Welfare Fund saying, “We owe this to the Army.”

Shah Rukh Khan had previously ran into trouble with right-wing parties during the release of his film, My Name is Khan in 2010, with Shiv Sena opposing its screening.  The success of Raees is highly important for Khan now, as his previous two films, Dilwale and Fan, were box-office flops.

 

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