Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan said today that “this is the time to show solidarity with our soldiers”, and in saying so, he refused to be drawn into commenting on whether Pakistani artists should be allowed to work in India or not following the Uri terrorist attacks.
Bachchan was addressing the press on the occasion of his birthday today.
“This is not the time ..the nation is incensed (over the Uri attack)…this is the time to show solidarity with our jawans,” Bachchan said.
Since the Uri terror attack of September 18 that killed 19 soldiers, the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) called for a blanket ban on artistes and technicians from Pakistan. IMPPA said that films with Pakistani actors that are complete and about to release – like Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Raees – will not be in the line of fire, but films that were being planned with Pakistani artistes will come under the radar.
Earlier this week, Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, who is Shahrukh Khan’s co-star in the upcoming Bollywood film Raees, broke her silence on cross-border tensions between India and Pakistan following the Uri attack, and said she “strongly condemn(s) any act of terror, (and) any loss of human life no matter which soil it is on.”
Fawad Khan, another Pakistani actor who works in Bollywood, addressed the tensions and similarly said he hopes and prays for a more peaceful world. Both actors used Facebook to convey their sentiments.
“As a Pakistani and citizen of the world I strongly condemn any act of terror, any loss of human life no matter which soil it is on. I will not rejoice in bloodshed and war. I will always hope for and dream of a world where my child can live without it, and always plead with everyone to imagine a peaceful world. It has also been in this time my faith in saner minds and goodness has been restored, thank you for the messages, love and support,” Mahira said yesterday in a Facebook post.
She added: “In the 5 years that I have been working as an actor I believe that I have tried my best to keep my country’s respect intact – by being a professional and by representing Pakistan here and elsewhere to the best of my abilities.”
Since the Uri attack, Pakistani artists working or performing in India have been targeted by various political parties and organizations. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) warned these actors to leave India immediately and said wouldn’t let their movies release in India.
Late last week, Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali – whose scheduled concert in Bengaluru had to be cancelled after the attack – was the was the first to speak out against it. He told a TV news channel, “It is a terror attack and I condemn it, I strongly condemn it.”