An affiliate of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has set a 48-hour deadline for all Pakistani artistes working in India, asking them to leave the country immediately.
According to the reports, MNS Chitrapat Sena’s Amey Khopkar has said the party would push the artistes out of the country if they don’t leave in the given time.
The recent terror attack on Uri Army base that killed 18 Army personnel has triggered tension between the neighbours, raising severe criticism against Pakistan for promoting terrorism.
The Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, had earlier slammed Pakistan, saying the country “is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such”.
The latest threat from the MNS Chitrapat Sena follows the aggressive stand of Mumbai-based right wing groups on Pakistani artists in the past.
This comes at a time of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after terrorists killed 18 Army personnel at an Army camp in Uri, India blamed Pakistan for the attack as probe agencies reportedly recovered weapons and ammunition bearing Pakistani insignia from the site. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and said that it won’t go unpunished.
It is, however, not the first time that Pakistani artistes have been threatened by Mumbai-based political parties. Shiv Sena in the past had forced noted ghazal singer Ghulam Ali to cancel his performance in Mumbai. They also threatened to launch a stir against a cricket match between India and Pakistan during the T20 World Cup.
It may be recalled that Pakistan before coming to India to play in the Twenty20 World Cup had asked the ICC for a change of location for their World T20 match against India, scheduled to be held in Dharamsala on March 19, after receiving a report from its three-man delegation that ‘security is not assured’ at the venue. ESPN Cricinfo learned that the report was handed over to the board and Pakistan’s federal interior minister, Chaudary Nisar, after which it was decided that the Pakistan team would not travel to India as scheduled. Later the match was played at Eden Gardens.