An association of theatre owners have decided to refrain screening of any Indian movies with a Pakistani artistes, be it an actor, actress, director or even a technician. The Cinema Owners and Exhibitors’ Association of India have taken the hard decision just days before the release of Karan Johar’s "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" scheduled for a release on 28th October, starring Fawad Khan in a small role.
Fawad Khan has a huge fan followership from India for his acting skills as well as his muscular, hunk look.
The members have decided not to screen such movies taking into consideration the "public sentiment" over terror attacks from across the border.
If the theatre owners, decide to give a positive nod on the request put forth by the association, Karan Johar’s movie will have to wait.
Another movie being affected by the ban if put into action would be Gauri Shinde's Dear Zindagi, which features Ali Zafar opposite Alia Bhatt, being produced by Karan Johar.
‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ is coming out to theatres during Diwali starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai along with Fawad Khan.
We have decided that these films (with Pak actors) should not be screened... keeping in mind patriotic feelings and national interestsNitin Datar, the chief of the cinema owners’ association
The association has members owning single screen theatres and not multiplexes mainly hailing from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.
Pahlaj Nihalani, Chairman of Central Board of Film Certification criticized the decision of the association though he is one among the members of the group.
Films already shot before changed relations between India and Pakistan should not be affected. Once cleared by censor board, the association does not have the right to ban or take decision not to screen a filmMr. Nihalani
"These cinema owners are hiding behind an excuse not to show a film," he added.
Apart from Karan’s film, SRK’s movie, ‘Raees’ might as well be affected because it has a Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan, which is scheduled to be released by January.
Last month, a producer’s association had decided to ban Pakistanis from acting in Indian movies after the Uri terror attack which killed 19 soldiers. Rebutting the Indian decision, Pakistani theatre owners decided to stop screening Indian movies.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) run by Raj Thackeray have threatened to block Mr Johar's film if he does not drop Fawad Khan.
Last week, Fawad Khan updated a Facebook post, “As a father of two little children, I pray and wish like many others that together we can build and live in a more peaceful world. I believe we owe it to our children who will shape our tomorrow.”