ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistani actress and former VJ will no longer be the part of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer movie ‘Raees’ as filmmakers had to bow to thedemands of extreme Hindu nationalists.
Rahul Dholakia directed and Shah Rukh Khan-starrer much-awaited ‘Raees’ is scheduled to be released on January 26 next year.
The 33-year-old Mahira Khan was making her first appearance in a Bollywood movie which also features Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead role.
“It was a very painful decision for producer Ritesh Sidhwani to take. The pressure to replace her had been building up for months. It reached a crescendo after the Uri attacks. It came to a point where it became impossible to shoot with any Pakistani. People suggested all kinds of solutions to the impasse, including shooting in Dubai. But it didn’t seem viable. Now, Mahira has unfortunately been relieved of her duties,” sources said as quoted by DNA India on Monday.
“The Raees team needs to find a new girl in two weeks’ time,” the sources added.
Last month, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) imposed a ban on Pakistani actors, singers and technicians from working in India following the Uri attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed.
Following the Uri attack, the ties between the two neighbouring countries simmered which also badly affected the artists’ community on both sides of the border. A number of Indian actors and singers including Akshay Kumar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ajay devgan, Nana Patekar and Abhijeet Singh among others supported the ban on Pakistani artists; however, Salman Khan, Om Puri and Karan Johar didn’t endorse the idea.