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Shah Rukh Khan meets Raj Thackeray to ensure smooth release for Raees

The film, which has Pakistani actress Mahira Khan, won't face protest from Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Keyur Seta

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan paid a visit to Raj Thackeray, the head of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), on Sunday evening to ensure smooth release for his upcoming film, Raees. The film had come under MNS’ scanner since it stars Pakistani actress Mahira Khan as the female lead. 

Shah Rukh promised Thackeray that he won’t work with any Pakistani artist until the relationship between both the countries is stabilised. After the meeting, the MNS chief said to the media, “Shah Rukh has promised that till the time tension between the two nations gets settled, he will not be casting any Pakistan artist in his any project.” 

The superstar also assured him that Mahira won’t be visiting India to promote the film. “He had come to inform that rumours about Mahira Khan promoting Raees are false,” added Thackeray. 

Tension for Raees had surfaced last month when Farhan Akhtar, producer of Raees, specifically said that he won’t pay up for casting Mahira in the film. To this, MNS leader Amey Khopkar had said, “We will see once the release date of the film nears.”  

In October, MNS had come down heavily against Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil since it had Pakistani actor Fawad Khan as one of the cast members. The party has taken a strong stand against Pakistani artists after the Uri attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in the same month. 

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was eventually released after chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis played peacemaker by bringing Thackeray and Johar together for settlement of the issue. Finally, Thackeray withdrew the protest after Ae Dil Hai Mushkil makers agreed to pay Rs5 crore to the families of the martyrs of the Uri attacks.