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Pakistanis in kiss tizzy

Country may impose Bollywood ban on local thesps

NEW DELHI — A kiss is definitely not just a kiss.

Pakistan is mulling banning its thesps from appearing in Indian movies after fining Pakistani actress Meera for what pols claim was a kiss in Mahesh Bhatt’s new film, “Nazar.”

Meera counters that it was only an “impression” of a liplock with co-star Ashmit Patel. Onscreen kisses are frowned on in Bollywood and Pakistan’s film industry, dubbed Lollywood after the filmmaking center of Lahore.

“Meera’s actions were against Islamic ethics and moral values,” a spokesman at Islamabad’s ministry of information told Pakistan’s online news agency.

“I have not done anything that is vulgar in ‘Nazar,’ ” Meera told India’s Asian Age newspaper in Mumbai. “There is only an impression of a kiss.”

She has been threatened by fundamentalist groups for acting in Bollywood films and says she fears for her life if she returns to Pakistan.

Pakistani film personalities are stepping up their association with Bollywood as relations between the two countries improve.

Bhatt, meanwhile, claims a conspiracy by hardliners within the Pakistani film industry. “They are losing talent to India, which endangers their own film industry. Meera’s issue is a mere excuse to prevent people from coming to India,” Bhatt said.

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