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John Abraham, Sonakshi laud Indian army's surgical strike in PoK

Force 2 stars back Indian army's action but remain mum on issue of Pakistani artistes working in India. 

Mayur Lookhar

The occasion was the launch of their action-packed film, but there were bigger things to discuss. The Force 2 press conference began with Viacom19 Motion Pictures COO and producer-filmmaker Vipul Amrutlal Shah lauding the Indian army's action against terrorist camps across the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and saying that they could not have found a better day to launch their film.

Asked for his reaction to the Indian action, lead actor John Abraham said, "We first need to thank our army. I completely back the action taken by our army. This is something which should have happened a little earlier. India is a very tolerant country but it was high time we responded to terrorism."

Sonakshi Sinha didn't add anything but merely seconded John's statement. Team Force 2 was unanimous in its view on the India action, but the mood changed when the focus shifted to the raging issue of banning Pakistani artistes in India.

While right-wing parties have long been demanding the ouster of Pakistani artistes from the Indian film and entertainment industry, Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra had condemned the attacks in Kashmir. Chandra stated that he had requested Pakistani artistes to condemn the terrorist acts, but they had refused. Chandra then declared that he was contemplating shutting down his channel, Zindagi, which largely runs Pakistani shows. 

Asked whether Chandra was right in asking Pakistani actors to condemn terror acts, John offered a diplomatic reply: “I don’t think we can be too opinionated on that. We should talk and comment on the actions taken by our government.”

Sinha added, “Look, we need to do what is in the best interest of our nation, we need to talk about what can help to keep us safe.”

Sinha reiterated that though her next film, Noor, is based on a Pakistani journalist’s book, the film itself isn’t set in Pakistan. 

Earlier, Saif Ali Khan expressed his views on the issue at an awards function. The nawab of Pataudi told TV journalists that while cross-cultural exchanges help to spread love, banning artistes from a particular country was a call that the government needed to take.