India must provide security to Shah Rukh: Malik

Indo Asian News Service

Islamabad, Jan 29 (IANS) Interior Minister Rehman Malik wants the Indian government to provide security to Shah Rukh Khan, in the thick of a controversy over his comments on being a Muslim that led to Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed saying the star could move to Pakistan.

Shah Rukh was born Indian and he would like to remain the same, Malik told reporters Monday at a reception organised by Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to mark India's Republic Day.

He said the people of both Pakistan and India love Shah Rukh, reported Geo TV Tuesday.

"Let's get together and fight against this extremism and terrorism because we are working for betterment and peace in Pakistan and India," he was quoted as saying.

Hafiz Saeed had said Shah Rukh could move to Pakistan if he does not feel safe in India after the superstar gave a first person account for Outlook Turning Points magazine, published in association with The New York Times newspaper.

The 47-year-old actor wrote: "I 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."

"There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country - this even though I am an Indian, whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave and return what they refer to my original homeland," added the superstar of Hindi cinema.

He went on say that he became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist, "who co-incidentally carries the same name as mine that I made a film subtly titled 'My Name Is Khan' (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point".

Set in post 9/11 US, "My Name Is Khan" focuses on religious and national identities through Rizwan, played by Shah Rukh, who has Asperger's Syndrome,.

"Ironically, I was interrogated at the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to promote the film in America for the first time," said the filmstar.