A home ministry official has said that India has no problem issuing visas to Pakistani artistes.
“If a person applies for visa and he fulfills the conditions, he gets it. It’s not that we don’t have to issue visa to Pakistani nationals,” the official said.
The Centre has also said that there has been no police change in terms of allowing Pakistani artistes or film technicians to work in India. In addition, there is also no proposal to revoke the work visas already issued to them.
The statement comes after the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India on October 14 announced it will not allow release of films with Pakistani artistes in single screens in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Karnataka.
The decision comes ahead of the scheduled release of Karan Johar’s “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”, which stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.
“Keeping in mind the patriotic feeling and the national interest in mind, we request all our member exhibitors to refrain from screening movies which have involvement of any Pakistani artists, technicians, directors, music directors, etc. Till the relation between India and Pakistan becomes normal, no films with Pakistani actors can be released,” Nitin Datar, President of the COEAI, said.
When asked about whether this decision extends to other releases like ‘Raees,’ which has Mahira Khan, Datar said, “We will see in the future. If the situation normalises, we will screen ‘Raees.’ It’s not a decision we can take now.”
According to trade pundits, the ban is expected to affect between 300 and 350 movie theatres.
Earlier, in wake of the September 18 terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Baramulla (J&K), that martyred 19 Indian soldiers, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena told Pakistani artistes to quit India, and threatened action against films like “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” and “Raees”, which have Pakistani artistes in them.