India on Tuesday hit back at Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik's demand to provide security to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, with Home Secretary RK Singh stating that Pakistan should instead worry about protecting its own citizens.
Reacting strongly to Malik's statement, Singh said: "We are capable of looking after our own citizen, let him worry about the security of his country's citizen."
Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut also said that Pakistan shouldn't interfere in India's affairs and decide whether the actor should be provided security or not.
The war of words started after Malik reacted to Shah Rukh Khan's first-person account of his experiences as a Muslim post 9/11 by stating that he would ask the Indian government to provide security to the actor.
"He (Shahrukh) is born Indian and he would like to remain Indian, but I will request the government of India to please provide him security and I would like to request all Indian brothers and sisters who are all talking against Shah Rukh that they should know he is a movie star, he is loved as a star by the people of Pakistan and he is loved by the people of India, then why to create some kind of hate, let's bring love," Malik told reporters at a reception organised by High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to mark India's Republic Day.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa founder Hafiz Saeed had earlier invited the actor to move to Pakistan if he doesn't feel safe in India.
In his write-up for the current issue of Outlook Turning Points magazine, Shah Rukh Khan said that he was victimised at times for being a Muslim.
"I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India. There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation than my own country -- this even though I am an Indian whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave my home and return to what they refer to as my original homeland," he wrote.
"I became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist who coincidentally carries the same last name of mine that I made a film, subtly titled My Name is Khan (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point. Ironically, I was interrogated at the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to present the film in America for the first time," he added.