Bollywood celebrity Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) came under severe criticism on social media for having links with Kashmiri activist, Tony Ashai, who Indian media claim is backed by the ISI, because he makes public statements and tweets to support the Kashmiris and against the Indian occupation and atrocities being conducted in Indian occupied Kashmir.
A few days earlier, BJP leader Baijayant Jay Panda claimed that several Bollywood celebrities have verifiable links to the Pakistani Army and ISI. Pictures of Bollywood celebrity, Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan with Kashmiri activist Tony Ashai and Rehan Siddiqui went viral on social media.
What the BJP leader tweeted
Baijayant Jay Panda wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that he “Came across shocking threads documenting personal & business links of some Bollywood personalities with certain Pakistanis & NRIs with undeniable track record encouraging violence in J&K, who have verifiable links to ISI & Pak army. I urge patriotic Bollywoodies to renounce them (sic).”
The BJP leader did not name anyone but shared a thread on social media by a Srinagar based “storyteller” who goes by the name Al Sikandar. It was his tweets that triggered social media vitriol against Shah Rukh Khan and Tony Ashai.
SRK has used Ashai for a lot of his architecture brains. Moreover, @gaurikhan has also been involved with Ashai in a lot of her projects. This is very important to know as Ashai is a masked Peace Activist, he has been spewing venom against India on Indus News, consistently. 3/n— Al iskandar (@TheSkandar) July 21, 2020
Al Sikandar posted the photos of Tony Ashai with Imran Khan in his long Twitter thread. He claimed, “Aziz Ashai (Tony Ashai) is on the payroll of ISI, who is in touch with many people in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country.” Sikandar went on to make several accusations against Tony Ashai. The unidentified social media users said that Tony Ashai has links with the separatist outfit, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), that killed Kashmiri Pandits. In the same thread, he said Tony Ashai has links with Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri Khan.
Tony Ashai and SRK: what links?
The Twitter user claimed that Tony Ashai and SRK have business links. Ashai had designed the Los Angeles apartment and Dubai building of Shah Rukh Khan.
The Gesture of Tony Ashai with Prime Minister Niyazi says it all.
Aziz Ashai (Tony Ashai) is on payroll of ISI, who is in touch with many people in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country.
“SRK has used Ashai for a lot of his architecture brains. Moreover, @gaurikhan has also been involved with Ashai in a lot of her projects. This is very important to know as Ashai is a masked Peace Activist, he has been spewing venom against India on Indus News, consistently,” read another tweet.
So SRK & Gauri are great friends & buisness partners (Gauri is) with Tony Ashai,a well known Kashmiri-American architect & a Kashmiri separatist with ties to Pak,who regularly spews venom against India@iamsrk Uses Indians to attain stardom & then supports Anti-India separatists? pic.twitter.com/rNiknM0SpP
— Rupa Murthy (@rupamurthy1) July 23, 2020
However, the Twitter user claims that Shah Rukh Khan does not know about his links with Prime Minister Imran Khan and ISI.
Who is Tony Ashai?
Tony Ashai is a California-based Kashmir-American architect. Tony Ashai was born in Sri Nagar. He studied architect in Chandigarh before moving to the USA for a Master’s degree. He is a Kashmiri activist who has been protesting against the forced occupation of Jammu Kashmir by Indian forces. Ashai has been condemning the brazen human rights violations by Indian armed forces on Kashmiri youth in the valley. He denounced Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his divisive and expansionist policies in India.
Tony Ashai abuses India openly, insults our Army & says things abt our country tht i can't even say. SRK is friends wit him & goes 2 meet him in UK. C this!! R v mad? R v supportin traitors all this while? I feel ashamed 2 no extent. How wil v do penance fr this?#SSRKoInsaafDo pic.twitter.com/iikeGPQdMn— Bollywood Skeletons (@BollywoodSkele) July 22, 2020
According to Indian media, Tony Ashai had been making explosive and anti-inflammatory statements against India. Indian media has accused him of provoking Kashmiri youth and inciting them for separatist movements. Some have even claimed that he funds terrorism activities in Jammu Kashmir as well.
Tony Ashai denies being linked to ISI
A Twitter thread sparked outrage against the Kashmiri activist on social media. However, Tony Ashai denied the accusations levelled upon him. He said he is the target of a conspiracy. Warning of legal action, Tony Ashai wrote on Twitter, “This conspiracy theory that Indian media is peddling about me being an ISI agent is baseless. These journalists either put out proof or apologize unconditionally. Short of that you will be sued individually in US Courts and will have to prove it there.”
This conspiracy theory that Indian media is peddling about me being an ISI agent is baseless. These journalists either put out a proof or apologize unconditionally. Short of that you will be sued individually in US Courts and will have to prove it there.— Tony Ashai (@tonyashai) July 23, 2020
I am always respectful to KPs in general for what they went through but you don’t deserve it. I want an unconditional apology from you otherwise you will have to prove my Being an ISI agent in a court of law and if you can’t, it will cost you a lot of money. Start saving. https://t.co/xFOy7HLCpl— Tony Ashai (@tonyashai) July 23, 2020
Bollywood celebrities and Pakistani businessmen
Following the controversy on social media, pictures of Bollywood celebrities with a British-Pakistani businessman, Aneel Musarrat, resurfaced on social media. The propagandists shared the images of the score of renowned Bollywood celebrities including Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Sunil Shetty attending the wedding of the daughter of Aneel Musarrat in 2017 went viral on social media.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and the senior leadership of PTI had travelled to London to attend the wedding of the daughter of Aneel Musarrat. According to reports, Bollywood director Karan Johar had hosted the wedding ceremony.
Another Pakistani-Kashmiri event manager, Rehan Siddiqui, also came under the radar of BJP propagandists for having links with Bollywood celebrities. According to the reports, Siddiqui is based in Houston and owns a radio channel. His radio channel highlights the Kashmir issue. He is said to have organized more than 400 successful concerts with many of the biggest stars from South Asia and Bollywood.