Mumbai: Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi today welcomed Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s remarks on Pakistani artistes, while there was subdued criticism from the Raj-Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).
The Shiv Sena, however, taunted the actor and advised him to take lessons on national pride from his father Salim Khan.
Salman today said artistes from Pakistan were not terrorists and art and terrorism should not be mixed.
Welcoming his stand, Azmi said, “Our fight is against Pakistan and we are proud of our soldiers for going into Pakistan-occupied territory and killing the terrorists. But, when we are talking about those who are here on valid visas for either work purpose or medical treatment, it is our duty to welcome them with open arms.”
“When we give these Pakistanis a good treatment, they will go back to their country and condemn the atrocities perpetrated by them on our soil. When Pakistanis say good things about our country, it will be that country which will be embarrassed on the global front,” he told reporters here.
Maharashtra Industries Minister and senior Sena leader Subhash Desai advised Salman to “take lessons” on national pride from his father and noted scriptwriter Salim Khan.
“Pakistan is our enemy and has killed our jawans by crossing the Line of Control (LoC) at Uri. The Sena has always opposed cricketing ties with Pakistan,” he said.
Desai said Sena believed that there should be no cultural ties between the two countries when people’s reaction was “strong” over the terror attacks “from Pakistan”.
Meanwhile, MNS leader Shalini Thackeray said if Pakistani artistes do not condemn their country’s wrongdoings, Indian actors should also respect the sentiments of Indians.
“Filmstars should understand the sentiments of the people under the current circumstances. People are very angry and actors like Salman Khan should respect them,” she said.
“If Pakistani artistes do not condemn the wrongdoings of their country, why can our filmstars not respect the Indian sentiment. Bollywood is not bigger than the country,” Thackeray added.