Shah Rukh row: India tells Pak worry about own citizens
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Shah Rukh Khan has now become a matter of India-Pakistan tussle, with New Delhi and Islamabad exchanging words over the superstar's "safety".
India on Tuesday reacted sharply to Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik's demand for security for the actor, saying Islamabad should be concerned about its own citizens. "We are capable of looking after our citizens, let him worry about the security of his country's citizens," Union Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters in Delhi.
He was reacting to Malik's statement on Monday that the Indian government should provide Khan security. "He is born Indian and he would like to remain Indian, but I will request the Government of India (to) please provide him security," Malik said in Islamabad.
I&B Minister Manish Tewari flayed Malik's remarks. "So far as the Interior Minister of Pakistan is concerned, he would be better served by bothering about the internal situation in Pakistan and really introspecting about the treatment of minorities there and see as to what they can do as a state to improve the condition and the plight of their own minorities," Tewari said.
The issue of Khan's security arose from a column he has written for Outlook Turning Points magazine, talking about his experiences as a Muslim in a post-9/11 world. The actor has talked about sometimes becoming "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".
The column caused a stir after Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed invited the actor to move to Pakistan "if he didn't feel safe in India".
The BJP called Malik's remarks "uncalled for and unacceptable". "A statement coming from the Interior Minister of a failed state, which had the distinction of harbouring world's most notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden in its backyard, is laughable," party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.