Mumbai: Amid the controversy over release of Karan Johar’s upcoming film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ which features Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, Dharma Productions owned by Karan Johar made it clear that the film will release as scheduled on 28 October during the Diwali weekend.
There is no delay on the release of the film, as it was being speculated, after single-screen distributors in Maharashtra decided to avoid release any film featuring any of the Pakistani artistes.
Earlier on Friday, the Cinema Owners Exhibitors Association of India (COEAI) had decided not to avoid any film that features Pakistani artistes in Maharashtra and in two other states.
After a meeting, Nitin Datar, the president of COEAI, “It was decided that keeping in mind the patriotic feelings and national interest, we have requested all member exhibitors to refrain from screening movies which have involvement of any Pakistani artiste, technician, director or music director.”
However, Karan is yet to directly comment on the Cinema Owners and Exhibitors Association of India’s (COEAI) decision to avoid screening “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” in single screen theatres across Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. But in a Twitter response to a fan video, he wrote: “See you at the cinemas on the 28th of this month! #AeDilKiDiwali.” 
“We are also in the process of requesting other associations connected with the film industry to support the sentiments in the best interest of our nation,” he added.
‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ stars Pakistani star Fawad Khan in a pivotal role. It will be the first film with any Pakistani actor to hit the screens after tension grew between the two countries following the Uri terror attack. 
Speaking in a debate on this issue on NewsX, Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit said, “As a citizen of this country and a filmmaker I am hurt with the behaviour and conduct of the Pakistani artistes as they didn’t identify with the pain of this country, where they are making money and enjoying their best possible life”.
Following the Uri attacks and massive outrage amid the controversy over the ban on Pakistani artistes in India, the release of Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, which stars Pakistan actor Fawad Khan, was uncertain. The entire controversy raged after the Uri attack at an Indian army base, when Maharashtra-based political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) under party chief Raj Thackeray, threatened all Pakistani artistes to leave India or else be ready to face the consequences.
Since then, there has been a mixed reaction from within the country and Bollywood itself over working with Pakistani artistes until the situation between India-Pakistan gets back to normal.
(With inputs from IANS … )