Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) president Raj Thackeray on Saturday took exception to Bollywood star Salman Khan’s defence of Pakistani artistes and claimed that the actor should take a Pakistani permit to work in that country.
“If he feels so much for these actors, then he should take a Pakistani permit and work there,” Thackeray said while addressing a press conference in Mumbai.
Salman on Friday had said that actors aren’t terrorists, after the Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association passed a unanimous resolution at its annual general meeting, to “henceforth, not to work with any artistes, singers or technicians from Pakistan”.
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“They may not be terrorists but how do you know that they are not informers who are passing information from here to there,” Thackeray added.
He asked why these artistes were being hired when there was an abundance of local talent.
Thackeray also claimed that those who hired these actors should be blamed. “More than the actors, these producers and directors are to be blamed. I think they will not understand unless we stop watching their films,” he added.
Soon after the Uri attack, the MNS had given an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave India within the next 48 hours or risk being beaten up. Many of the Pakistani artistes had left India after the attacks.
However, Salman’s statement created a fresh set of problems for the MNS as the actor and his family are known to be close to Raj Thackeray. While many believed that the MNS would go soft on Salman, the party chose to hit out at the actor.