The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Much ado about Meera's 'kiss'

Islamabad/Mumbai, Feb. 23: Reports of the actor, Meera, kissing on screen in an Indian movie have sent tongues cluck-clucking in Pakistan but the govern- ment does not appear willing to play the role of moral police yet.

Rumours that the government had slapped a heavy fine on Meera for the so-called kissing scene in Mahesh Bhatt's yet-to-be-released Nazar were denied by information minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.

Meera, who is being chided for the 'infamous' on-screen episode with co-star Ashmit Patel, said she did not perform any act in the shooting that would cause embarrassment to Pakistanis.

'I am receiving obnoxious calls and some people are trying to harass me by hurling threats,' said Meera, who began her career with a talcum power advertisement in early 1994.

The actor added that she has not heard of the alleged action and that nobody from the government had got in touch with her.

But such has been the intensity of the criticism that a website reported that, upset with the incident, the government was even planning to bar Pakistani actors from working in Indian films.

'Nobody is banning Meera or any other Pakistan film celebrity from performing in Indian movies nor is there any such move in the offing,' the information minister said.

He clarified that there was no change in the guidelines for Pakistani actors to act in Indian movies, which are a rage in Pakistan. The trickle of actors towards Indian movies has also started.

Bhatt, who signed Meera for Nazar last year, had said during his visit to Lahore in December that he approached the Pakistani beauty for her 'excellent acting talents', claiming that even the ravishing 'Madhuri Dixit is no match for her'.

About the reports, Bhatt said: 'My partner in Lahore, Sohail Khan, is taking a very serious view of the matter. He is contemplating legal action on behalf of Meera.'

There is little doubt that Meera is in some trouble at home. She said she knew the people making threatening calls and had taped their voices.

Meera added that she was 'very angry' and was ready to sue those who were maligning her.

'I will not go for any retakes, as there is no objectionable scene shot of me,' Meera said, dismissing demands that she shoot the 'offending' parts again. The actor said she would call a news conference soon.

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