Following last week’s 48-hour deadline set by an MNS-affiliate, asking Pakistani actors to leave India, the party on Friday has once again stirred up the issue saying they will beat up any Pakistani artists they find working here. “If we find any Pakistan artist working here, we will beat them up,” Amey Khopkar of MNS was quoted saying by news agency ANI.
He also threatened to protest against employing Pakistani artistes. “If anybody in India will work with Pakistani actors or artistes, we will protest against them,” Khopkar said.
Demanding action against Pakistani artistes, Khopkar alleged that they come to work in India on tourist visas. “Not the right time to shake hands with Pakistan; Pakistani artistes don’t come on work visa but tourist visas. Action should be taken,” Khopkar said.
Following the Uri terror attack, the MNS’s Chitrapat Sena (film workers association) issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave the country and had even threatened physical violence against them and anyone who cast them in their productions.
“Pakistani kalakaar toh maar khaayenge hi, saath mein jo yahan producer/director hain unko bhi peetenge (Pakistani artists will be beaten up and so will the producers and directors),” Khopkar said last week.
Many in the film industry have come out in support of Pakistani artistes working in Bollywood, including the likes of actor Salman Khan and director Shyam Benegal. “They are artistes not terrorists. It’s the government who gives them permits and visas,” said Salman Khan regarding the calls for ban on Pakistani artists.
“Artistes came cause they were called for some project, whats their fault? Pak Govt has nothing to do with the individuals,” said Shyam Benegal on Friday.
Mumbai-based Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) had on Friday even passed a resolution to temporarily ban Pakistani artistes from working in India.