‘Won’t allow Pakistani actors to step on Maharashtra soil’

Mumbai: Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan, whose two Bollywood films are due for release next year, have become the latest target of Shiv Sena, which has threatened to stop them from entering Maharashtra to promote their movies.

“We have taken a stand that we won’t allow any Pakistani actor, cricketer or performer to step on Maharashtra’s soil,” said Akshay Bardapurkar, general secretary of the Shiv Sena Chitrapat Sena, the film wing of the party.

“Shiv Sena won’t let the Pakistani actors in the films — Mahira Khan (‘Raees’, slated for release in July, 2016) and Fawad Khan (‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, expected to hit theatres next Diwali) – promote the films in Maharashtra,” Bardapurkar said.

When contacted, Mahira, who will be making her Bollywood debut with “Raees”, starring Shah Rukh Khan said, “I would not be commenting on this,” while Fawad was not immediately available for a response.

In the last few weeks, Sena has hit national headlines with its protest against Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Pune and Mumbai (which were consequently cancelled), ink attack on former BJP ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni and opposition to release of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book, as well as protest at BCCI office over the planned visit by Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan.