Mahira won’t promote ‘Raees’: SRK assures Raj Thackeray

In order to ensure a trouble-free release for ‘Raees’, superstar Shah Rukh Khan held a meeting with MNS chief Raj Thackeray at his residence in Mumbai on Sunday (Dec 11). The crime drama stars Pakistani actress Mahira Khan in a full-fledged role, and the actor assured the politician that Mahira will not be coming to India to promote the film.

Last week at the trailer launch of the film, co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani had said that if they feel the necessity, then Mahira may be called to India to promote the film. Following the announcement, there were rumours floating on social media that Mahira was likely to visit India next month for the film’s promotion and its premiere. This got Shah Rukh concerned and he sought to clarify the rumours with Raj Thackerey.  

After the meeting, MNS Chief Raj Thackeray told news agency ANI: "He (Shah Rukh Khan) had come to inform that rumours about Mahira Khan promoting Raees are false."

Ameya Khopkar, the chief of MNS’ cine wing Chitrapat Sena, added that Shah Rukh has also committed that he will not collaborate with any Pakistani artistes in his future ventures. The party will now not oppose the release or screening of ‘Raees’ in cinema halls on January 25, Khopkar added.

The MNS had strongly objected to the casting of Pakistani actors and demanded a ban on hiring artiste from the neighbouring country to work in Indian films, following the Uri terror attacks in September.

There was a huge brouhaha before the release of Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ as the movie had brief roles by Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Imram Abbas.

Shah Rukh had also run into trouble earlier for the release of his 2010 film ‘My Name is Khan’, with Shiv Sena opposing its screening then.