Karachi Arts Council Criticizes Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi for Event Cancellation
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Karachi Arts Council Criticizes Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi for Event Cancellation

Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi had cancelled their appearance at an event to commemorate Kaifi Azmi in Karachi, in the wake of Pulwama Attacks.

Javed and Shabana had cancelled their appearance at an event organised by the Karachi Arts Council because their belief on the people-to-people contact appeared "shaken" after 37 Indian soldiers were targeted with a car bomb by Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists.

The couple was set to take part in centenary celebrations of Shabana's poet-father, Kaifi Azmi.

News 18 reported that Daily Dawn on Sunday quoted Council President Ahmed Shah. The Council President stated that Shabana had "crossed the line" the way she attacked Pakistan in a manner not appropriate for a literary person. 

The Council had organized a conference to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Kaifi Azmi on February 23rd to the 24th. Many celebrated poets and literary personalities from Pakistan and other parts of the world have been invited for the event.

"I feel sorry for Shabana Azmi that she has lost hope," he said. "I don't criticise her but we deeply feel saddened the way she had expressed disappointment after (the) Pulwama attack.”

Also interesting to note that a Jashn e Rekhta festival where Shabana, Javed, Mahira Khan and Sarmad Khoosat were set to attend in Dubai was also cancelled by Rekhta Foundation in the wake of the Pulwama Attacks.

"We firmly believe that artists and people who are regarded for their literary and art contribution are the ones who give hope to people,” continued Ahmed Shah. “They never disappoint them. But this time Shabana Azmi sounds extremely disappointed."

"Javed Akhtar should have the courage to denounce his Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi's atrocities in Kashmir," Shah said.

On Friday, a day after the suicide bomber hit a CRPF convoy on a highway in Pulwama, the couple in separate tweets announced their decision to cancel their planned visit.

"For the 1st time in all these years, I feel weakened in my belief that people to people contact can force the establishment to do the right thing. We will need to call halt to cultural exchange," said Shabana in one of her tweets.

Javed Akhtar too said that the citizens of Pakistan need to raise questions about their government's policy.

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