Pulwama Attack: Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar decline invitation from Karachi Art Council
Shabana Azmi said: I am filled with pain and grief and all else by the dastardly Pulwama attack. 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.
After the attack on CRPF jawans in Pulwama, actress Shabana Azmi and lyricist husband Javed Akhtar declined an invitation from the Karachi Art Council for the birth centenary of poet Kaifi Azmi. The couple was invited for a two-day event on the poet by the art council. Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar also condemned the attack that claimed at least 40 lives.
"Javed Akhtar and I were invited for a 2 day event celebrating Kaifi's Centenary and were truly looking forward to it. I appreciate that our hosts the Karachi Arts Council mutually agreed to cancel the event at the nth hour in the wake of Pulwama attack," Shabana Azmi tweeted.
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in the district. Apart from the soldiers who succumbed to the injuries, many were left critically injured as well.
She further tweeted: "Will there be no let to these heinous attacks? These mindless killings. this utter disregard for human lives? Extremely shocking news coming from Pulwama. I strongly condemn the worst terror attack on CRPF convoy and stand united with the grieving families (sic)."
Lyricist Javed Akhtar, who had penned the CRPF anthem also took to Twitter to condemn the attack. "I have a special relation with CRPF. I have written Their anthem Before putting the pen to paper I met a number of CRPF officers n whatever I learned my respect admiration and love for these braves increased by many a fold Today I share the grief of the dear ones of the martyrs," he said.
In an official statement, Shabana Azmi said: "I am filled with pain and grief and all else by the dastardly Pulwama attack. 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 as of now. There is no way we can carry on when our martyrs are laying down their lives are for us. I stand in solidarity with the grieving families.
Javed and I were invited by Karachi Arts Council for a 2 day event celebrating my father Kaifi Azmi's birth centenary. I appreciate that our hosts have mutually agreed to cancel the event at the nth hour in wake of the Pulwama attack. Rekhta has also cancelled their 3 day celebration in Dubai which included a show of our play Kaifi aur Main by IPTA. All Indians stand united as one.
But let's not lose sight of the fact that we must not confuse the Pakistan establishment with the people of Pakistan and vice versa. On both sides of the border there are sisters and brothers who stand divided by circumstances they have had nothing to do with."
During the inauguration of the much-anticipated Train 18 or Vande Bharat Express, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed similar sentiments and condemned the attacks. "There's a lot of anger in the nation, the blood is boiling. I understand it... Our forces have been given full freedom. I want to tell terrorist groups and their leaders that they have made a big mistake, they will have to pay a huge price. I want to assure the country that the powers behind this attack and those responsible will be punished for their actions."