After the worst face-off in decades both India and Pakistan resumed barter trade at a border crossing in Kashmir on Wednesday. However, it's going to be a while before any such crossing happens in the film industry. Only recently there was news of Salman Khan replacing Atif Aslam from his upcoming production Notebook which was followed by a blanket ban on all Pakistani artists by the All India Cine Workers Association. We can now reveal that Akshay Kumar and Dharma Productions have also now decided to remove a song sung by an unidentified Pakistani singer from their upcoming production Kesari.
Team Dharma refused to comment on the story when we reached out to them but considering the controversy Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Pakistani actor Fawad Khan starrer Ae Dil Hai Mushkil had attracted close to the film's release in 2016, its only natural that the producers have decided to drop the singer and the song not to mention stay mum on the subject.
After the Uri attacks on 18 September 2016, Indian Motion Picture Producers Association banned all Pakistani actors and technicians from shooting in India. Following which Raj Thackeray helmed Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) asked all Pakistani artistes to leave the country. They also threatened to stall the release of both Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Shah Rukh Khan's Raees as both films starred Pakistani actors in Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan respectively. ADHM was slated for an October release which meant the impact of the threat was more to Dharma. It was only after Karan Johar issued a public apology that the film was allowed to release without incident.
Kesari is based on the battle of Saragarhi of 1897, in which 21 Sikh soldiers of the British Indian Army fought against 10,000 Afghan invaders. Akshay plays Havildar Ishar Singh, who lead the Sikh soldiers in the battle. Actress Pareeniti Chopra will be the leading lady opposite Kumar. The film is directed by Anurag Singh and produced by Karan Johar. It will be releasing on 21 March.