Mumbai: Amid heightened tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of Uri terror attack last month, Cinema Owners & Exhibitors Association of India have decided to not release Karan Johar's upcoming film 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil', which stars Pakistani actor Fawad Khan alongside Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The film, which is set to release next week on October 28, will not be screened in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Goa.
On Friday, the association held a third meeting to decide the fate of Karan Johar's upcoming film. After a long session, Nitin Dattar, the president of the association, announced that they will not be releasing Indian films that feature Pakistani actors.
"We have decided that we will not screen these films with Pakistani actors," said Nitin Datar. The exhibitors association has told all members to not release 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' as it may hurt the sentiments of Indians.
"Today, the meeting of Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India took place and it was decided that keeping in mind the patriotic feelings and the national interest of our country, we request all our members and exhibitors to refrain from screening movies which have involvement of any Pakistani artist, technicians, directors, music directors etc," Datar said.
"We are also in the process of requesting other associations connected with the film industry to support the sentiments in the best interest of our nation."
"The association is not going to screen any movie and the decision implies from today until things don't get normal," Datar added.
After the terror attack on Uri Army camp, in which 19 soldiers lost their lives, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had given a 48-hour ultimatum to Pakistani artistes to leave India or will be kicked out. It was reported that due to MNS' threat, Fawad Khan secretly flew back to Pakistan.
In an interview, Raj Thackeray had said, “We have asked the theatres to not release their movie, we must teach them a lesson, the producers are more at fault than those artistes.”
Earlier, it was reported that the makers were planning to swap Fawad's face with Saif Ali Khan's. However, later the makers quashed the rumours, saying that they will not replace Fawad Khan in the film.
Things got messier when Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association (IMPPA) announced a ban on Pakistani artists and technicians for an indefinite period until normalcy returns.
After many Indian artistes voiced their opinions on the issue, Pakistani actors such as Fawad Khan, Mawra Hocane and Mahira Khan also broke their silence. While Fawad's statement was slammed for being diplomatic, Mawra and Mahira openly condemned the terror attack.