The Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) met MNS officials asking them to allow the release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and Shah Rukh Khan starrer “Raaes”, both starring Pakistani actors, in Maharashtra but the Raj Thackeray-led party has refused to budge from its stand.
IMPPA officials had a closed door meeting with Shalini Thackeray, working president of Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena, to discuss the issue of release of “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” that hits cinema houses on October 28.
“We met Shalini Thackeray… we told her to allow the release of these (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Raaes, Dear Zindagi) films as Indian producers have invested their money in these projects. If films don’t release, it will be loss to Indian producers,” said T P Aggarwal, President, IMPPA.
“Pakistani actors have worked, taken money and left. As a body, it’s our duty to help our producers,” he said.
Aggarwal said that MNS has not given a positive feedback on the demands of IMPPA.
“They (MNS) are saying they will stick to their stand. We will meet again and try to sort out the matter,” he added.
However, IMPPA and MNS have agreed on requesting the government to not give visa to Pakistani artistes.
“We completely agree with the stand of IMPPA of requesting the government to not allow Pakistani actors get visa because the question is of a larger issue,” said Shalini.
“This is no longer an issue about what we are thinking, but what people want. They are against the idea of watching a film which has Pakistani artistes, considering the situation in the country now. We will not go against the sentiments of the people and are firm on our stand of opposing the release of these films,” she said.
On the talk that the films should be released as Indian producers money is involved, Shalini claimed that many people from Bollywood are also opposing the idea of Pakistani actors working here and the issue has become “larger than what it was earlier”.
IMPPA has also written a letter to Raj Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray appealing them to protect the film industry from losses by not obstructing the release of ready and under production films and entertainment programmes.
The body has even urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bar work permit of Pakistan artists till the problem between the two countries is resolved.