Mumbai: After forcing the cancellation of Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena has now set its eyes on a book release event involving a former Pakistani foreign minister.
The Observer Research Foundation, along with Nehru Centre and Penguin Books India, has organised a book launch event at the Nehru Centre in Worli on Monday. The book, titled Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider’s Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy is written by Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, the foreign minister of Pakistan during General Pervez Musharraf ‘s rule.
The launch of the book will be accompanied by a panel discussion and key speakers include AG Noorani, eminent jurist and author; Naseeruddin Shah, renowned film and theatre personality; and Dileep Padgaonkar, eminent journalist and columnist.
On Saturday, the Shiv Sena leaders handed over a letter to the chief executive officer of Nehru Centre asking him to cancel the event. “If the event is not cancelled, we will disrupt the programme and will protest in our style. If something happens, the centre’s administration will be responsible for it. Even if you use a huge force, we will disrupt the programme in anyway,” reads the letter signed by two Sena MLAs and other senior leaders.
“It is completely ridiculous because Pakistan has not taken any action against the perpetrators of 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai. Then how we can have an event and discuss its foreign policy? They should first act against the perpetrators 26/11 terror attack and should stop killing our jawans on the border,” Ashish Chemburkar, a local senior leader told Firstpsot.
Chemburkar added that they would wait till Monday morning. “If the programme is not canceled, then we will prepare our strategy to disrupt it. It does not matter if a police case is registered against me as there are already fourteen police cases registered against me,” he said, adding that “we have always opposed the performance of Pakistani artistes in India to protest its ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC).”
On Friday, Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of ORF (Mumbai), had written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Mumbai Police Commissioner Ahmed Javed urging them to provide foolproof security for the event and to take strict action against those who indulge in unlawful activity.
“Shiv Sena has every right to protest peacefully at the event but has no right to disrupt the event. We are not doing anything unlawful. Only four days back, a book release event of this book was held in Delhi which was attended by former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former deputy prime minister LK Advani. So, does it mean that they are supporters of terrorism? We oppose cross-border terrorism. This book release event is an attempt to create a better relation between India and Pakistan. We will hold the event,” Kulkarni told Firstpost.
He hoped that the state government would provide adequate security to the event and to an eminent Pakistani dignitary like Kasuri.
Earlier this week, following Sena’s threat Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s scheduled concert on 9 Ocotober was cancelled by the organizers. The concert was a tribute to late singer Jagjit Singh on his fourth death anniversary and had been brought to India through ‘Ek Ehsaas’ concerts. Despite the assurance from the chief minister on adequate security cover, the concert was called off.
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