Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani has cautioned that while art and culture are subservient to issues of greater national import, Indian cinema could face losses if Pakistani actors are prevented from working in India.
Nihalani told ANI that film director and producer Karan Johar signed Pakistani actors when relations between India and Pakistan were good and now it would be an injustice to stop the release of their film now.
"Why are we talking about the artists? Instead, we should talk about India and Pakistan. To give a visa to any Pakistani is the sole decision of the government, and we as producers and actors, are saying they are not terrorists and that art and culture should never come in between," Nihalani said.
"The way our country was developing relations with Pakistan, the same way Karan Johar and Shahrukh khan had accepted the Pakistani actors, and now, this film should be released and should not face difficulties, because through this, not only will these actors suffer losses, but also the nation and the film industry will suffer," he added.
Nihalani's comment comes in the wake of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan backing Pakistani actors and objecting to the demands of politicians like Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray to ban their entry into India following the recent terrorist strike on an army base camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir.
Khan said,"They are artistes not terrorists. It's the government who gives them permits and visas."
The Bollywood icon also endorsed the Indian Army's surgical strike on terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC), describing it as an apt response.
Meanwhile, Pakistan actor Fawad Khan has reportedly left India and put his plans on returning soon on hold after the MNS threatened to attack Pakistani actors if they did not leave India.