Karan Johar is at the centre of a heated political debate over the release of his romantic drama, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil owing to escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.
Earlier today, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), a right-wing political outfit based in Mumbai threatened to vandalise multiplexes if they went ahead with the film's release as it features Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Imran Abbas.
Now, Karan Johar has released a video statement where he has said that given the current environment, he won't be working with Pakistani artistes in the future.
Below is the text of the statement given by Johar:
"There is been some talk about why I have remained silent for the past two weeks. Today I will clarify that the reason why I have remained silent is because of the deep sense of hurt and a deep sense of pain I felt that a few people would actually believe that I am anti- national and I need to say this and I say it with strength.
For me, my country comes first and nothing else matters to me but my country. I have always felt that the best way to express your patriotism is by spreading love and that is all I have ever tried to do through my work and through my cinema. When I shot my film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil in September to December last year the climate was completely different. The circumstances were completely different. There were efforts made by our government for peaceful relationship with our neighbouring country and I respected those endeavours and efforts then and I respect the sentiments today. I understand the sentiment because I feel the same.
Going forward I would like to say that of course, I will not engage with talent from the neighbouring country given the circumstance. But with that same energy, I beseech you to know one thing. That over 300 Indian people in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears into my film ADHM and I don't think it is fair to them to face any kind of turbulence out of other fellow Indians. I respect the Indian army and salute our army for everything they do to protect us and our environment. I respect them with all my heart and I say any form of terrorism any form especially the terrorism that would affect my people, my country and me. I just hope all of you understand the circumstance and situation we are in and respect the fact that we love and respect our country over and above anything else."
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is set for an October 28 release.