Mumbai: Pakistani actress Mahira Khan was the target of much ire after a Halloween image surfaced online showing her and a Pakistani director, who was dressed as a representative of an Indian regional political party and holding a placard that read "Mahira ko bahaar nikaalo". She has since apologised for hurting sentiments, but says the image has been misconstrued.
The actress is making her Bollywood debut with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Raees'. And her Halloween photograph, which surfaced online, has been taken as a dig at the Shiv Sena which last month vowed not to let Mahira and another Pakistani actor, Fawad Khan, promote their upcoming films in Maharashtra.
Mahira took to Twitter on Thursday to issue an apology for hurting people's sentiments.
"The image from a Halloween event I attended has been made out to be something it never was. It was not done intentionally to hurt anybody's sentiments, neither to make a political statement," she posted.
The controversy comes at a sensitive time when celebrated Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali decided not to perform in Delhi after his Mumbai concert was shelved last month amid threats by Shiv Sena.
Mahira believes artistes are creative people and should be kept away from politics.
"As many have said before me, artistes are creative people who can't be dragged into the politics of nations. I have always made a concerted effort to maintain this standard for myself. Love and peace to all.
"If I have hurt anyone's sentiments with the image at the Halloween, I would like to apologise as that was not what I intended and was unintentional," she added.
According to reports, Mahira attended a Halloween party in Lahore where she was accompanied by film director Asim Raza. She came dressed as catwoman while Raza was dressed as a political leader.