Pakistani artists found themselves in trouble earlier this week as nationalist party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) sought to oust them from India following the tension between the two countries over Kashmir.
It seems like their Bollywood peers are now speaking up.
In an interview with Indian Express, Phantom actor Saif Ali Khan extended his support to them, before adding that the decision is ultimately up to the government.
"The world is open to our film industry and our film industry is open to talents from around the world especially cross border. We are artists who talk about love and peace.”
"The government has to decide these things. The government must make decisions about law and order and who is allowed and who isn’t," he shared.
Student of the Year leading man Varun Dhawan said something similar: "If by banning actors, terrorism can be stopped then they should do it. That is something the government needs to decide first."
Whereas director Karan Johar who has Fawad Khan playing a small but integral role in his upcoming movie, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, said banning Pakistani actors was not the solution.
“If this was truly a solution, one would take it but it's not. I don’t believe it is. The larger forces have to come together and sort the situation and this cannot be banning talent or art."
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap is also of the same opinion as KJo, and questioned those in favour of the ban.
“Karan Johar said a very good thing. If you want to send Fawad Khan back, send him, but what are the next five steps you’ll take? You tell me, what are the next five steps you will take after that?"
The problem, he asserted, did not lie in sending Pakistani artistes back home. “What problems will be solved after sending him? What will be your next step after sending him. At least tell us what are your next five steps."
However, not everyone adopted such an approach. Veteran actor Anupam Kher revealed that he felt Pakistani actors must condemn the September 18 Uri attack.
When asked about it at an event for channel Zindagi, he said, “It is really important to say that ‘I condemn the unfortunate massacre of Indian soldiers’. They (Pakistani actors) need to do that. We have always shown our goodness and friendship."
"The responsibility of the actors who work across the border with us should be to condemn the terrorists who killed our soldiers. I'm not saying you condemn your country. Politically, it may not be the correct move."
Singer Lata Mangeshkar announced she will not be celebrating her 87th birthday this year as she is mourning the lives of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the attack.
She added, “I don’t know if I am qualified to comment on such matters. But yes, I do wonder why nations don’t keep their own house in order instead of creating havoc in others’ domain. Why hurl bombs at nations? Hatred kills. Why not work on making our own country beautiful?”
Her message to her Pakistani fans?
“Woh khush rahen, shanti se rahen (I hope they stay happy and stay in peace). Aur humen bhi khushi aur shanti se rehne den (And let us also live in peace and be happy). I know the people there are just like us. They want peace; only some elements don’t want peace.”
This wouldn't be the first time Fawad and co have received threats from India's nationalist parties.
In October last year, Shiv Sena activists had threatened Fawad Khan and Mahira and announced plans to hinder promotions of the actors' upcoming movies, Raees and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Shiv Sena had also protested against the performance of ghazal singer Ghulam Ali in India.