Shah Rukh Khan meets Raj Thackeray in surprise move; MNS won’t disrupt Raees release

Mumbai: Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan on Sunday assured Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray that Mahira Khan, the Pakistani actress who plays the lead in his forthcoming release Raees, will not come to India for promoting the film, a party official said here.

(L) Raj Thackeray; (R) Shah Rukh Khan. File photos

(L) Raj Thackeray; (R) Shah Rukh Khan. File photos

(L) Raj Thackeray; (R) Shah Rukh Khan. File photos

“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.

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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 25 January release or screening of Raees in cinema halls, he added.

After the 18 September Uri attack that left 19 Indian soldiers dead and the 28 September 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 28 October.

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.

First Published On : Dec 12, 2016 12:05 IST

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