Just ahead of its release, Welcome To New York's producer Vashu Bhagnani opened up on the controversies around the movie. The romantic-comedy has been in controversy over a song, titled Ishtehaar, sung by Pakistani singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Reacting on this, the producer said, "I have always respected the soldiers. My intention was never to hurt any sentiments".
Also present at the meet was singer-turned-Union Minister, Babul Supriyo who had earlier said that Khan's voice must be removed and the song be redubbed by someone else from the country or it shall be banned. Also, he had pointed out that he was unable to "comprehend the need or desire to cross the border for entertainment content at a time when tensions on the India-Pakistan border had escalated".
Supriyo addressed the media and said, "I am not against any Pakistani artist. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab is a very accomplished artist. But we believe that currently, given the kind of animosity between India and Pakistan with our soldiers being martyred, it is not appropriate for us to work with Pakistani artists and that is why I asked for the song to be banned".Bhagnani added, "After having spoken to Babulji I promise that we won't work with Pakistani artists until the relationship between the two countries improves".
Earlier, Khan had taken to Twitter to share his opinion on the ongoing controversy. The maestro wrote, "In midst of so much being said all I can say is music has no boundaries and thank everyone for showing so much love for the songs which I am a part of......".
In midst of so much being said all I can say is music has no boundaries and thank everyone for showing so much love for the songs which I am a part of...... pic.twitter.com/ZjoZstjS1c— Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (@RFAKWorld) February 20, 2018
Khan has sung for many Bollywood songs since 2003 such as Jag Ghumiya, Mann ki lagan, Ajj Din Chadeya, Mere Rashke Qamar, and Afreen Afreen. The film stars Diljit Dosanjh and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead roles and is helmed by Chakri Toleti. It is slated to release on February 23.
(With ANI inputs)