16 July-2014: As the row over Ved Pratap Vaidik's meeting with Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz…
The Shiv Sena on Sunday dared former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri to pay tribute to the Indian soldiers, who died in the recent ceasefire violations, before his book launch in Mumbai.
“Our issue is specifically with Pakistan and not with their artists. But be it Ghulam Ali or Kasuri, we are against having any relations with Pakistan until they stop attacking India and killing our people,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI here. However, he said that if Kasuri paid homage to the Indian soldiers, who had died at Pakistan’s hands in the ceasefire violations before launching his book, then the Shiv Sena would consider letting him go ahead with his event.
Terrorism is deep rooted in Pakistan and Kasuri should condemn the way they are plotting to spread it in India. Does he have the guts to acknowledge the truth and honor our soldiers before the show starts. I don’t think he does,” Raut added. Reacting to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s invitation to separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for talks, the Shiv Sena leader said it was a clear act by the hostile neighbour to split India.
“They are trying to divide our nation and we are empowering them by letting their artists into our country,”Raut said. The Shiv Sena has asked the organisers in Mumbai to call off Kasuri’s book launch function, warning that the function will be disrupted if not cancelled.
On Saturday, Shiv Sena asked management of a city-based convention centre to call off Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch function. Citing the neighbouring country’s support to terrorism as the reason behind the opposition, the party warned that the function will be disrupted if not cancelled.
Sena vibhag pramukh Ashish Chemburkar submitted a letter to director of Nehru Planetarium here, demanding that the event be cancelled and organisers informed accordingly.
Kasuri will launch the book ‘Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’ , in Mumbai on October 12 at the Hall of Culture, Nehru Centre, Worli. “Our purpose in organising this function is to make our own humble contribution to the much-needed normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. Kasuri’s widely appreciated book shows his strong commitment to peaceful and cooperative ties between our two countries,” ORF Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni had said.
“The launch of the book will be accompanied by a panel discussion, in which the speakers are: A G Noorani, eminent jurist, historian and author; Naseeruddin Shah, renowned film and theatre personality; and Dileep Padgaonkar, eminent journalist and columnist,” Kulkarni, who will moderate the talk, had said. During his stay in Mumbai between October 11 and 14, Kasuri, besides attending the book launch function, will also visit Mani Bhavan and Jinnah House “if possible”, he said.
Kasuri will also meet veteran movie star Dilip Kumar at his residence.