MNS slams Salman Khan for supporting Pakistani artistes.
MNS slams Salman Khan for supporting Pakistani artistes. Pictured: Salman Khan at a media interaction after the success of film Sultan.IANS

Amid the controversy surrounding the banning of Pakistani artistes in India, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday slammed Bollywood actor Salman Khan for speaking in support of Pakistani artistes. The MNS chief also threatened to ban Salman's films if he continues to support the actors from Pakistan.

In an interview with Times Now, Thackeray lashed out on Salman's comments by saying, "Salman Khan's tubelight flickers (says in Hindi). And, we must understand that our soldiers who're protecting the borders have no personal enmity against Pakistan or their soldiers. But our soldiers are dying at the borders, they're being shot. And these bullets aren't filmy, they're real bullets."

The MNS chief also questioned the need to have Pakistani artistes in Bollywood and if Salman thinks that there is a dearth of talent in India.

Later, ANI quoted Thackeray as saying: "Jawans are fighting for us at borders. What'll happen if they decide to put down their weapons? Who'll guard the borders? Salman Khan? Bollywood? These artists (Salman Khan) should realise that its nation first. If they have so many problems, we will ban their movies too."

On Friday, Salman had said that Pakistani actors are not terrorists and that art and terrorism shouldn't be mixed.

The statements from Salman and Thackeray came after the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) unanimously decided to temporarily ban Pakistani artistes and technicians from working in India. The decision was taken following the Uri attack that claimed the lives of 18 Indian Army jawans.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande has further heated up the controversy by stating that Salman needs to be taught a lesson for his statement. "If he has so much love for Pakistani artists, he should migrate there," she said.