Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan on Tuesday said he had never said that he that felt unsafe in India for being a Muslim and the controversy around his recent magazine article had been sparked by "bigots and narrow minded people".
At a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday as the matter risked turning into a diplomatic row between India and Pakistan, Khan described the controversy over his article ´Being a Khan´ as "nonsense".
"I implore you all that please read the article. Nowhere does it say that I feel unsafe in my country...I don´t even understand the basis of this controversy," he said.
"Ironically, the article I wrote - yes it is written by me- was actually meant to reiterate that on some occasions my being an Indian Muslim film star is misused by bigots and narrow minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for very, very small gains. And ironically the same has happened through this article once again," Khan added.
Earlier, reacting to Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik´s remarks on security of Khan in India, union home secretary RK Singh on Tuesday said the country is capable of protecting its citizens and the Pakistani minister should be worried about his own people.
"We are quite capable of looking after our own citizen. Let him worry about the security of his own," said Singh in a sharp reaction to the comments of Malik earlier.
Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik on Monday urged the Indian government to provide security to the Bollywood actor.
Reacting to an account by the actor for a magazine on being a Muslim in a post 9/11 world, Malik said: "He (Khan) is born Indian and he would like to remain Indian, but I will request the government of India to please provide him security."
Speaking to mediapersons at a reception organised by high commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to mark India´s Republic Day, Malik said: "I would like to request all Indian brothers and sisters who are all talking against Shah Rukh that they should know he is a movie star, he is loved as a star by the people of Pakistan and he is loved by the people of India, then why to create some kind of hate, let´s bring love."
SRK earlier wrote in the special edition of Outlook Turning Points publication" "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 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 my home and return to what they refer to as my original homeland," Khan wrote.
Meanwhile, Jamaat-ud-Dawa founder Hafiz Saeed, who is a key accused in the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, has said Shah Rukh Khan can shift to Pakistan if he felt unsafe in India.