Mumbai: Pakistani actress Mahira Khan would have had a dream debut in Bollywoodopposite Shah Rukh Khan early next year. But if the latest report is anything to go by, then the beauty from across the border may have to wait longer to make her presence felt in Bollywood. According to a report in DNA, Mahira will no longer be a part of the SRK starrer. It was apparently a painful decision for the makers of the film which is just about three months away from its release.
“It was a very painful decision for producer Ritesh Sidhwani to take. The pressure to replace her had been building up for months. It reached a crescendo after the Uri attacks. It came to a point where it became impossible to shoot with any Pakistani. People suggested all kinds of solutions to the impasse, including shooting in Dubai. But it didn’t seem viable. Now, Mahira has unfortunately been relieved of her duties,” DNA quoted a source as saying. Indian producers who had hired Pakistani actors were under scanner soon after the IMPPA (Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association) imposed a ban on artists from across the border following the Uri terror attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers.
Karan Johar was among the filmmakers who had a Pakistani artist in their film. ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, which is slated to release on Diwali this year, has Fawad essaying a small part. The film also stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. There were reports that also suggested that Fawad’s portions from Sushant Singh Rajput’s ‘M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story’ had been chopped off in order to avoid controversies and negative responses. Pakistani artists, who have otherwise been quite vocal and expressive about terrorism across the globe, were only questioned for their silence on Uri terror attack.
After days of silence, the first reaction came from singer Shafqat Amanat Ali, followed by Mawra Hocane, Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan. If the report on Mahira’s exit from ‘Raees’ turns out to be true, then the producers will have to look for an Indian actress at the earliest because the film will be releasing in about three months time around Republic Day next year. ‘Raees’ has been making headlines since its inception. The film also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a pivotal role.