‘ADHM’ row: KJo says won’t work with Pak actors anymore, but ban is unfair

In the face of widespread opposition to the release of upcoming film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ as it features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, director Karan Johar has finally broken his silence on the controversy.

In a video statement on Tuesday (October 18), Karan pledged not to "engage with talent" from Pakistan in future, and made a fervent appeal against stalling his upcoming directorial starring Ranbir Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anushka Sharma.

Following the dastardly terrorist attack at Uri last month, a section of politicians demanded a ban on Pakistani artistes working in India, and the first movie caught in the row was Karan’s ‘ADHM’. The film’s release was further jeopardised when the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI), which covers most single-screen theatres, decided not to screen the film to avoid any untoward incidents. Adding to this, Raj Thackeray-led MNS activists issued a veiled threat of vandalism to multiplex owners who may screen the movie.

In the two-minute-long video statement, the 44-year-old filmmaker said that country comes first for him and while he understands the sentiments, hampering the release of the movie will actually hurt the 300 strong Indian crew of the movie.

"I understand the sentiments because I feel the same. Going forward, of course, I would like to say that I would not engage with the talent from the neighbouring country given the circumstance. But with that same energy I beseech you that over 300 Indians in my crew have put their blood, sweat and tears in my film 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil', and I don't think it is fair to them to face any kind of turbulence on account of other fellow Indians," he said.

Karan also said that her chose to remain silent all this while because he felt a “deep sense of hurt and pain” to be questioned about his patriotism.

"There has been some talk about why I have remained silent for past two weeks. Today I would like to clarify that the reason why I remained silent is because of the deep sense of hurt and pain that I felt. There are few people who actually believe that I am being anti-national.

“I need to say this and I say this with strength that for me my country comes first. Nothing else matters to me but my country. I have always felt that the best way to express your patriotism is to spread love and that's all I have ever tried to do through my work and my cinema,” he added.

Amidst all this, Karan has also met the Joint Commissioner of Police in Mumbai for security during the film’s release. ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, which also stars Shah Rukh Khan in a cameo, is slated to hit screens on October 28.