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Nana Patekar: 'Pakistan, artistes come later. My nation comes first"
Ace actor Nana Patekar has become the latest Bollywood celebrity to join the debate over whether Pakistani artistes should be permitted to work in India post the September 18 Uri terror attack that took lives of 19 Indian soldiers.

Patekar strongly reacted on the issue saying, "Pakistan, artistes come later. My nation comes first. I don't know anyone except my country and don't want to know anything else. Artistes are small insects in front of the nation, we are worth nothing compared to the country," said the actor to a news channel.

While slamming the Bollywood that expressed its opinion over the time and looked divided on the entire issue, Patekar said, "I don't want to know what Bollywood says. I was in the Army for two years. Our jawans are the real heroes. We are ordinary, useless people. Do not pay attention to what we say.

"Do you understand whom am I talking about? Humlog jo patar patar karte hain, unpe dhyan mat do. Unki aukat nahi utni," he added.

Post the Uri terror attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had asked the Pakistani artistes to leave India in 48 hours. The artistes from Pakistan were also threatened to be beaten up if they don't leave the country by Sept 25.

However, Bollywood appeared divided on the issue with filmmakers including Karan Johar and Mahesh Bhatt and actor Salman Khan maintaining that the art and politics should be dealt separately. Other actors like Kangana Ranaut and Ranbir Kapoor remain neutral on the issue.

Most recently, Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani called the ban on Pakistani artistes by the Indian Motion Pictures Association (IMPAA) as illegal, extra-constitutional and irrelevant. "Who are these people asking for a ban?" he asked.

"By whose authority are they asking for this ban? Not one producer-member of IMPAA is working with a Pakistani artiste. The ones who stand to lose heavily from such a ban are Karan Johar and Ritesh Sidhwani, who have almost completed films with Pakistani artistes. These artistes, who have worked in these films, should not be asked to leave. They have every right to work here," said Nihalani.

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