Mumbai: Despite the threat of Shiv Sena protesting against the launch of former Pakistan External Minister KM Kasuri book ’Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove’, the event took place as scheduled on Monday evening.
Sudheendra Kulkarni reached the book launch venue despite being attacked by Shiv Sena earlier in the day. At the event, he spoke about how the book was important for the relations between both countries, “It is our duty to undo the mistakes of the past,” he said.
He also said that he tried to explain to the party the significance of the event. “We went to meet Uddhav Thackeray yesterday, to make him understand why we are having this event,” he said.
Talking about secular values of Mumbai, he said, “Mumbai is a tolerant, inclusive, liberal and democratic city. Mumbai stands for India-Pakistan dialogue for peace, this function in the face of threats is vouching for that.,” he said about the event. He added that Mumbaikars should not let any organisation mar the values of city.
“New history can only be created via dialogue, two governments must continue dialogue. Our function is in that direction,” he said.
Kulkarni also spoke about Kasuri’s Indian roots, “I told Uddhav Thackerayji that he shouldn’t think that every Pakistani is anti-India. His father was arrested in the Quit India Movement, they were all Congress supporters,” he said.
Pakistan’s former External Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri spoke about his book. He began by thanking Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis for excellent security at book launch.
He also said that he has not misrepresented India’s view or misstated any facts in the book. “I sent a copy of the book to LK Advani, Manmohan Singh, Natwar Singh, Yashwant Singh, President of India and the VP Hamid Ansari of India,” he said.
“Nehru visited Lahore because Hindus there were very angry over the partition,” he said.
Speaking about India-Pakistan relations, he said that co-operation over joint mechanism is needed between both countries. “Ordinary people, soldiers are being killed. Is there a way out? Yes, where there is a will there is a way. Here’s my suggestion, don’t trust United Nations Military Observer Group. There are people of repute in Pakistan and India human rights activists and judges, can’t we ask them to monitor?
He also added that there is no scope for non-state actors in the Indo-Pak talks.
Sudheendra Kulkarni was attacked by the Shiv Sena, hours before the launch of a book of Kasuri in Mumbai. Following the attack, Kulkarni said he had no intention of scrapping the book launch. The Shiv Sena has described the launch of Kasuri’s book as an insult to martyred Indian soldiers, and warned of severe repercussions if the event is not cancelled.