MNS asks Pakistani artistes to leave in 48 hours, police assures protection

Mumbai, Sep 23 (IANS) The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Friday gave a 48-hour ultimatum to all Pakistani cine and television artistes here to quit India or face consequences.

The Mumbai police promptly responded, saying foreign artistes holding valid documents need not worry.

MNS Chitrapat Sena chief Ameya Khopkar told the media that there was “an anti-Pakistan” wave across India after the September 18 terror attack that left 18 Indian soldiers dead at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The MNS calls upon all Pakistanis working in Indian tele-serials, films and other shows to leave the country within 48 hours. If they fail to do so, we shall deal with them in our own style,” Khopkar warned.

The party also warned it would not permit the release of any Bollywood films having Pakistani actors, including the upcoming “Aye Dil Hai Muskhil” and “Raees”.

The MNS order would also apply to sportspersons and singers, the party added.

Among the Pakistani actors and singers known to be based in Mumbai or frequenting the city are Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Salman Ahmad, Mahira Khan and Ali Azmat.

MNS Vice-President Shalini Thackeray said that wherever shooting for films or teleserials with Pakistani actors was on after the deadline, MNS activists would go and stop them.

“This is not a veiled threat. This is a direct challenge to producers like Karan Johar who promote Pakistani artistes. We are writing to all production houses, asking them not to give work to Pakistani artistes,” Thackeray said.

Another party Vice-President, Vageesh Saraswat, said the party had issued similar warnings in the past and always stuck by them.

“Now, we have given them a specific deadline. Their countdown has begun. If they don’t pack up and leave in 48 hours, we shall chase them away,” Saraswat declared.

However, the Mumbai police on Friday said that all foreign nationals, including Pakistanis who are in Mumbai with valid documents provided by the government of India, need not worry.

“We will provide adequate protection as and when required,” Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) Deven Bharti said following the MNS threat.

In the past, the MNS and the Shiv Sena have adopted an aggressive stance against Pakistani personalities visiting Maharashtra.

Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s scheduled concerts were cancelled in Mumbai and Pune in October 2015 and a public engagement axed in January this year.

–IANS

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