Welcoming the decision of Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) not to screen movies starring Pakistani artistes in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa, the MNS today said the move "reflects and respects peoples" sentiments.
"I congratulate the Cinema Owners Association for taking this stand. They have supported our boycott of Pakistani artistes through this decision and it reflects and respects the sentiments of people of our country," MNS general secretary Shalini Thackeray told PTI.
"The Army is fighting for the country. The country comes first and the film industry needs to realise that everything is not normal...There is tension between the two countries and people do not want to see the Pakistani artists on screen," she said.
The decision taken by the COEAI at its meeting here mainly covers single screen theatres and comes amid tension between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of Uri attack last month. The move will hit Karan Johar's upcoming Diwali release "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" which features Fawad Khan.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma play lead roles in the film.
Thackeray said the decision would lead to cultural isolation of Pakistan, which according to her was necessary against the backdrop of the rising tension between the two nations.
"There is an opposition and anger against them (Pakistani artistes). So this stand by the theatre owners was required in the backdrop of the rising tension between the two countries. Furthermore, this is a major step forward towards cultural isolation of Pakistan," she said.
Days after terrorists attacked an army camp in Uri, the cinema wing of MNS had on September 23 given an ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave the country within 48 hours.
The Raj Thackeray-led MNS had asked Pakistani artistes like Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan to leave India immediately, failing which the shooting of their movies will be stalled.
The party had written an open letter to Bollywood producers and production houses, asking them why they need to rope in actors from the neighbouring country when enough talent is available in India.
The Party had also written to production houses asking them not to hire Pakistani artistes and give those jobs to Indians.
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