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Sending Fawad Khan back is not a solution, Karan Johar hits back

In an exclusive interview to NDTV, the director spoke out against the warnings by MNS by saying 'banning artists' is not a solution. 

Shriram Iyengar

Filmmaker Karan Johar has come out in defence of Fawad Khan and other Pakistani actors working in the Indian film industry. Speaking in an interview with television channel NDTV, the director said, "Telling Fawad to pack up and leave isn’t a solution. Today if my film is being targeted because of this it will make me exceptionally sad. Banning art or artistes isn’t a solution."

Fawad Khan is a part of Johar's soon to release Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The film has run into some political hot water after the recent attack in Jammu & Kashmir by terrorists based in Pakistan. This led to calls by political parties like the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and the Shiv Sena to ban Pakistani actors.The general secretary of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's film wing, Shalini Thackeray, had announced on Saturday that they would not allow the release of any film with Pakistani actors in it. She said, "We are sending letters to all producers and would request them to cooperate with us, which we hope they will in Maharashtra. If they don’t, we will stop the shoot wherever Pakistani actors are involved." 

Johar defended himself by saying, "I understand the anger and the anguish that surrounds us. I feel my heart bleeds for those who lost their lives". However, banning artists from the country was not a solution, he added.

Johar further spoke about art and cinema being 'soft targets'. He said, "We are just soft targets. Anything happens in the world, and you attack good old Indian cinema. I am a vulnerable soft target. I have combated that with various films. We make movies, we are a creative industry, please leave us alone. We don’t matter in this scheme of things." The director also requested everyone to take a 'holistic view' of the matter, and not react on instinct. 

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is scheduled to release on 28 October. 

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