The last few weeks have been very taxing for filmmaker Karan Johar. His casting of Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan for the upcoming Ae Dil Hai Mushkil hasn't gone down well with a few political parties. The filmmaker has been constantly targeted. However, 10 days prior to the release of the film, the production house released an audio-video file with Johar's statement.
He says, "There has been some talk about why I remained silent for the past two weeks. Today, I would like to clarify that the reason why I have remained silent. It is because of the deep sense of hurt and the deep sense of pain that I have felt when I saw that a few people could actually believe that I am being anti-national. I need to say this and I say this with strength—for me, my country comes first. Nothing else matters to me but my country.
I have always felt that the best way to express your patriotism is through love. And that's what I have always tried to portray through my work and my cinema. When I shot my film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil from September to December last year, the climate was completely different. The circumstances were completely different. There were efforts made by our government for the peaceful relationship with the neighbouring country. And I respected those endeavours, those efforts then. I also respect the sentiment today. I understand the sentiment because I feel the same.
Going forward, I would like to say that of course, I will not engage with talent from the neighbouring country, given the circumstance. But with that same energy, I beseech you to know one thing—that over 300 people in my Indian crew have put their blood, sweat and tears into making my film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. I don't think it's fair to them to face any kind of turbulence on account of other fellow Indians. I respect the Indian army. I salute them for everything they do to protect us in our environment. I respect them with all my heart. And I say that I condemn any form of terrorism specially the terrorism that will affect the people of my country and me. I just hope all of you understand exactly the circumstance that we are in and respect the fact that we love and respect our country over and above anything else."
According to reports and sources, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, has been really tough with their stance. It has strictly warned multiplexes not to release the film as it stars a Pakistani actor.