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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bollywood celebs’ Pakistani links & pro-Pakistan advocacy are a cause of concern

BJP leader and former Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Jay Panda stirred a massive controversy recently with his tweet asserting Bollywood biggies have links with Pakistani expatriates who in turn have links to ISI & Pak army.

Many questioned why he chose to tweet this serious claim instead of forwarding this information to the government for action. Let’s take a look at some of these influential Bollywood celebrities whose links were outed in the thread referred by the MP, and others with known pro-Pakistan leanings.

Shah Rukh Khan

The “My Name is Khan” actor has often spoken about his father who was a freedom fighter, but what many don’t know is that the megastar has family not only in Pakistan but in Pakistani Army as well.

SRK’s paternal uncle Shah Nawaz served in the INA and later went on to become a Congress MP and government minister. Shah Nawaz’s nephew (i.e. SRK’s second cousin) Lt.-Gen. Zaheer-ul-Islam served as the Director General of Pakistan’s notorious ISI. His Pakistani cousin Noor Jehan was a politician; she passed away earlier this year.

In Jan 2010, after Pakistani cricketers were not picked in the IPL auction, Khan had said, “It (Pakistan) is a great neighbour to have. We are great neighbours, They are good neighbours. Let us love each other. Let me be honest. My family is from Pakistan, my father was born there and his family is from there.”

Interestingly, these comments were made just 14 months after the worst terror attacks of 26/11/2008 on Bharat’s soil by Pakistani state terrorists.

Now it has been revealed that the Indian actor shares a warm bond with Pakistani American Tony Ashai, a man with close links to ISI. Ashai, an architect by profession, has designed Khan’s Dubai and Los Angeles homes, and the star’s wife Gauri Khan too is involved with Ashai in many of her interior designing projects, claimed Srinagar-based activist @TheSkandar on Twitter.

Tony Ashai’s real name is Aziz Ashai, a Kashmiri Muslim from PoJK, whose education and business is said to be funded by the banned terrorist group, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, JKLF which was funded and created by ISI. His son is a member of the MSA (Muslim Student’s Association) which was created by Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist Muslim organisations.

Tony’s friend circle includes Pakistani PM Imran Khan. A careful scroll through his twitter feed presents rants against Bharat that resonate with Imran Khan’s views, and he has appeared on several Pakistani channels too airing anti-Bharat venom. It is said Ashai uses his Bollywood connections and masks himself as a ‘peace activist’ in US to do ISI’s bidding and influence the sub-continental diaspora.

While Tony Ashai is comfortably sitting in California, USA and sending his own son to an American university, he is inciting youth in Kashmir to violence.

SRK has been vocal each time he was detained at a US airport and starred in his home production movie ‘My Name is Khan’ to protest the profiling of Muslims in USA after 9/11. But shouldn’t he be more careful about the people he associates with? Will he denounce Tony Ashai and other Pakistani extremists as openly as he earlier proclaimed his family ties across the border?

Salman Khan

Abdul Rashid Salim Salman Khan, popularly known as Salman ‘Bhai’ has an interesting family history. His paternal ancestors had migrated to Indore, Madhya Pradesh in the mid-1800s.  His biography by Jasim Khan tells that his ancestors hailed from the Akuzai sub-tribe of the Yusufzai Pashtuns who belonged to Malakand in the Swat valley, which is now in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan.

After Tony Ashai’s name started doing the rounds, two other Pakistani expatriate names came up for close links to Bollywood. Rehan Siddiqui owns a radio channel and brings Bollywood artistes to Houston, USA for concerts. He uses his radio channels as a platform to run anti-Bharat propaganda. In the last one year, a few cinema bodies had sent out a notice to various stars including Salman Khan, Diljit Dosanjh, and others to stop them at performing at concerts organised by him. NRIs in US said Siddiqui, a Pak national, was using huge funds generated through Bollywood shows to finance anti-Kashmir activities for the last several years. He also organised an anti-Bharat rally during the ‘Howdy Modi’ event involving PM Modi and US President Trump in last September.

Both Khan and Dosanjh had cancelled the shows organised by Siddiqui after the notice by cinema bodies and protests by Hindu Americans.

However, Salman Khan who is notorious for his links to the Mumbai underworld like Abu Salem, Dawood Ibrahim, Chotta Shakeel and others – something he himself boasted in his abuse-laden phone call to actress Aishwarya Rai – and for being involved in several crimes, probably takes the cake for brazen Pakistan apologia when he gave a stunning clean chit to Pakistan over the 26/11 attacks in an interview with a Pakistani TV channel.

All 10 attackers in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were Pakistani, trained and sent by boat from Karachi by Pakistani ISI & LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), the Pakistani state’s preferred terror outfit.

It is probably unfair to judge Salman Khan for his ancestral roots. But his murky underworld links and abject appeasement of a terrorist nation like Pakistan where Hindu persecution is an everyday affair, does leave a sour taste in our mouth.

Karan Johar

Another dubious Pakistan expatriate whose name has surfaced for Bollywood links is London-based businessman Aneel Mussarat. As per a report in GeoNews, filmmaker Karan Johar hosted his daughter’s wedding reception in 2017 which was also attended by Imran Khan and other senior Pakistani politicians. It was attended by Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Suniel Shetty.

Mussarat is a British Pakistani businessman who is a close adviser of Pakistan PM Imran Khan, his political party PTI, Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army–General Bajwa and others in Pakistan’s military establishment.

It must be noted that the wedding reception in London was hosted exactly one year after the Uri attack by Pakistani terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed that left 18 Bharatiya soldiers dead.

Johar has been accused of bullying and ostracising Bollywood outsiders who do not come from pedigreed families. Clips of his interactions with actress Kangana Ranaut show the kind of malice and superciliousness he harbors for those he dislikes. But the same Johar was at the forefront of those asking for Pakistani actors to be allowed to work in Bharat, in the wake of demands to ban them after the Uri attacks left the entire nation furious at Pakistani perfidy.

Moreover, despite Hussain Haidry, the writer of his upcoming movie ‘Takht’, approving genocide of Jews and issuing threats to Hindus, Johar has yet to condemn him or drop him from the movie.

Sonam Kapoor

The Veere di Wedding actor has always been vocal about her love for Pakistanis and has been proud of her Pakistani heritage. In an interview with BBC after abrogation of Article 370, she expressed her displeasure at her movies being banned in Pakistan. “I have a huge Pakistani following and my two best friends, they are Muslims and half-Pakistani…I am half-Sindhi and half-Peshawari, so it’s heartbreaking to see that part of my culture is something that I can’t explore as well because of that [the conflict],” she offered.

During the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests organised by Islamists (which later developed into the full-blown Delhi riots), Sonam waded in with half-baked knowledge and issued a sermon to all Hindus after a gunshot incident in which no one was killed. When her sanctimonious tweet was countered with a question about her father’s relation with terrorist & criminal Dawood Ibrahim, she lashed back and accused the questioner of ‘being evil and spreading violence’.

Another Twitter user questioned why was Anil Kapoor dancing in a party thrown by Dawood. This time Sonam decided to dodge the question.

Saif Ali Khan

Often addressed as Chhote Nawab, the Hum Tum star has a lineage from modern-day Afghanistan. The title of Nawab was bestowed upon his ancestors by the British after Faiz Talab Khan aided the East India Company against the Marathas during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Saif Ali Khan’s grand-uncle Maj. Gen. Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan had chosen to move to Pakistan and commanded a Pakistani Brigade during the Kashmir War of 1947. Most of the Pataudis moved to Pakistan before and during the partition. Among them, Major General Isfandiyar Ali Pataudi was found to be a front-runner in taking over as ISI’s chief in 2011-12.

In a 2015 interview, Saif Ali Khan vowed his allegiance to his country over any relative. However, in the wake of the Uri attack, he stated “This (cross cultural exchange) should definitely be encouraged. The industry is open to world talent, especially from across the border..We are artistes and we will talk about love and peace,” while asking the government to decide on who to allow to work here. Recently, he also claimed in an interview that the ‘concept of India’ did not exist before the British.

Mahesh Bhatt & family

An acknowledged Islamist-sympathizer, the controversial producer-director Mahesh Bhatt has batted for Pakistani artists working in Bollywood. His son Rahul Bhatt was a close friend of American terrorist of Pakistan origin, David Coleman Headley, born Daood Sayed Gilani, who played a vital role in plotting the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and is presently in a US jail.

The terrorist declared that he was fond of Bhatt junior and had warned him to steer clear of South Mumbai on 26 November, the day the attack started. They were in touch even after the terror attack and Headley told a US Chicago court he had planned to recruit Bhatt as an ISI agent, and take him to the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Mahesh Bhatt, like Salman Khan, issued a clean chit to the Pakistan government for the 26/11 attack, and went even further by totally absolving Islamic terrorists and blaming RSS instead! In a speech at a Muslim conference in August 2013, he labeled Hindu-majority Bharat as ‘a land of the blind’ and asked Muslims to ‘fight for justice’.

Mahesh Bhatt is an admirer of the terror-accused, fugitive Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik, and desires to make a biopic on Naik who inspired various terror attacks like 2006 Mumbai train blast, Dhaka cafe attack etc.

His second wife, Soni Razdan, recently told a newspaper that she will be “much happier” living in Pakistan. Their daughter and actress Alia Bhatt supported the violent anti-CAA protests and is also a supporter of Islamist ‘journalist’ and serial fake news peddler Rana Ayyub.

Akshay Kumar

Reputed as one of the few ‘true nationalists’ in Bollywood, there is, perhaps, more to the Canadian citizen Akshay Kumar (aka Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia) than meets the eyes. A video that surfaced online shows the Kesari actor in the company of the controversial Aneel Mussarat.

Like almost everyone in Bollywood, Akshay has spoken of the love he receives from Pakistani fans and how much business his movies generate across the border. And while his positioning on most issues since 2014 is pro-government, his wife Twinkle plays to the left-liberal galleries through her Mrs Funnybones blog and tweets.

This is just a partial listing – if dug in deep, many more Bollywood celebrities, producers, directors will be exposed for their links to criminals and dubious Pakistanis.

What drives this Pakistan love/empathy across Bollywood? Why do these elites, who live off the fame and adulation heaped on them by the ordinary Bharatiya, find it so hard to understand the pain of the same citizen who is at the receiving end of Pakistani-sponsoed terror attacks and extremism? Why can’t they understand the pain of those Pakistani Hindu parents whose minor daughters are snatched from them by Islamic clergy-backed fanatics and pushed into sex slavery? How can they maintain personal ties with those who wish this nation harm?

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