No Plans To Revoke The Visas Granted To Pakistani Artistes
The government has no plans to revoke the visas which have been granted to Pakistani artistes working in Bollywood notwithstanding the current tensions with that country.
The Centre has given the Ministry of External Affairs permission to grant a visa to an applicant if it doesn’t hear from the security agencies in 60 days, a senior Home Ministry official said. The move comes after the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Gautam Bambawale met Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi in May and pointed out the huge backlog of visas for Pakistani citizens for want of security clearance.
However, many Indian actors and politicians are against Pakistani artists working in India. An official explained that for an Indian visa to be revoked, the applicant has to have committed a crime in Indian territory or be considered a threat to the country or should be considered an undesirable person.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) recently had asked Pakistani artistes like Fawad Khan (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil) and Mahira Khan (Raees) to leave India immediately. They even threatened filmmakers Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt, saying that they would beat them up if they continue to work with Pakistani artists. Earlier the party had demanded that Karan Johar should Fawad Khan’s scenes from the film.
If this was not enough, Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association Of India (COEAI) on Friday, October 14, 2016, had announced that theaters under it’s ambit will not screen movies featuring Pakistani actors and technicians.
In a circular issued on Friday, COEAI said, “Keeping in mind the patriotic feeling and national interest, we request all our member exhibitors from withholding screening of any movie that has involvement of Pakistani artistes, technicians, etc.”
The ban is reportedly applicable to single screen theatres that are part of Mumbai territory, which includes, besides Maharashtra, parts of Gujarat, Goa and Karnataka. While the scope of the ban remains uncertain as of now, as other industry bodies are yet to come to a decision.
Bilateral relations between India and Pakistan have deteriorated following the September 18, 2016 Uri Attack in which 19 soldiers were killed. Indian Army also carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan on the intervening night of September 27, 2016 and September 28, 2016.