Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan on Sunday assured Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray that Mahira Khan, a Pakistani actress in his forthcoming release Raees will not come to India for promoting the film, a party official said here.
“Shah Rukh Khan met Thackeray at his residence a short while ago and gave this assurance. He has also committed to not engaging any Pakistani actors in any of his future film ventures,” MNS Chitrapat Sena chief Ameya Khopkar told IANS.
The superstar was concerned by rumours floating on social media networks that his co-star in “Raees” Mahira Khan was likely to come to India next month for promoting the film and joining its premiere.
However, Shah Rukh put all rumours to rest and personally called on Thackeray to apprise him of the real situation, Khopkar said.
In view of his clarifications, the MNS will not oppose the January 25 release or screening of “Raees” in cinema halls, he added.
After September 18 Uri attack that left 19 Indian soldiers dead and the September 28 surgical strikes by India on Pakistan terror camps, the MNS had strongly protested against hiring of Pakistani actors by Indian film-makers.
Thackeray had vowed to stop release of a few films in which Pakistani actors are playing roles, including Karan Johar’s recent “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” featuring Pakistani actor Fawad Khan and SRK’s “Raees” which has cast Mahira Khan.
MNS had staged dramatic protests prior to the release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” but finally relented after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis brokered peace with MNS, Johar and the Film & Television Producers Guild of India.
This paved the way for the film’s peaceful release and exhibition across Maharashtra on October 28.
In 2013, SRK’s “Chennai Express” had run into trouble with the MNS after it allegedly threatened to yank off Marathi films to accommodate its shows in single-screen cinemas.
Prior to that, SRK’s blockbuster “My Name Is Khan” had run into trouble with the Shiv Sena but the issue was later amicably sorted out.