With his remark that “the Indian government should provide security to actor Shah Rukh Khan” kicking up a controversy in India, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday modified his statement.
In a tweet posted towards the evening, he said: “Shah Rukh Khan is equally famous in Pakistan and India. I am sure that threats to him are being handled as per the relevant Indian law.”
The tweet was posted after Home Secretary R.K. Singh said India was capable of looking after its own people and Mr. Malik should worry about the security of Pakistani citizens.
In an interaction with journalists at a reception hosted by the Indian High Commission on Monday evening to mark Republic Day, Mr. Malik said in response to a query regarding the actor’s narrative on “Being a Khan” that: “He was born Indian and would like to remain Indian but I will request the Government of India to please provide him security. I would like to request all Indian brothers and sisters and all those who are talking in a negative way about Shah Rukh that they should know he is a movie star.”
Earlier, as reports appeared in a section of the media about Shah Rukh Khan’s article, Jamat-ud-Da’wah chief Hafiz Saeed had said the actor was welcome to move to Pakistan if he was being persecuted for his faith in India. “We want to expose the real, deceptive, fraudulent and Islamophobic face of India on its Republic Day. It is by no means a secular democracy. If a person like Shah Rukh Khan is being subjected to such religious persecution by extremists, then who else among Muslims will feel safe?” he said in tweets.
In an Outlook-New York Times limited edition issue, the actor wrote he had sometimes “become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India.” Further, he wrote: “I named my son and daughter with names that could pass of as generic: Aryan and Suhana. The Khan is borrowed from me so that can’t really escape it… I imagine this will prevent my offspring from receiving unwarranted eviction orders and random fatwas in the future.”
This apart, the article has more about his travails at U.S. airports because of his name — experiences that resulted in him making the movie My Name is Khan (And I’m Not A Terrorist).
“So I am a Khan, but no stereotype image touches my idea of who I am. Instead the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians. I have felt this love for the last 20 years regardless of the fact that my community is a minority within the population of India.”