In wake of the deadliest terror attack in Pulwama, veteran actress Shabana Azmi and her husband lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar have decided not to attend Kaifi Azmi's birth centenary celebrations in Karachi. Azmi said after the attack, she feels weakened in her belief that people to people contact can force the establishment to do the right thing. Azmi, however, said one should differentiate between the establishment and the people. The couple was invited to Pakistan by the Karachi Arts Council for a two-day event.
Taking to Twitter, Azmi wrote, "@Javedakhtarjadu 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 ninth hour in the wake of Pulwama attack".
"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," the actress tweeted.
"#Pulwama attack There is no way we can carry on with cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan even as our martyrs are laying down their lives for us. I stand in solidarity with the grieving families," she added.
"But let's not lose sight of the fact that there is a difference between d Pakistani Establishment and the people of Pakistan n vice versa. On both sides of d border stand sisters n brothers divided by circumstances with which they had nothing 2 do," Azmi said in a series of tweets.
@Javedakhtarjadu n I were invited for a 2 day event celebrating #Kaifi Azmi centenary. I appreciate that our hosts #Karachi Arts Council have mutually agreed with us to cancel the event at the nth hr in view of the dastardly Pulwama Massacre.— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) February 15, 2019
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's three decades of militancy, a Jaish suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district, killing at least 40 personnel and leaving many critically wounded. Azmi condemned the attacks and said she stands united with the grieving families.
"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," she wrote in another tweet.
Akhtar, who penned the CRPF anthem in 2014, also took to Twitter to condemn the cowardice act. "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 and 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 wrote.
(With inputs from agencies)