Even Moderate Shabana Azmi Shaken By Pulwama Attack, Says All Cultural Exchanges With Pakistan Must Stop

Shabana Azmi always believed  the borders between the two warring nations India and Pakistan must not be sealed against cultural exchanges.

But now after the dastardly and gruesome  Pulawama  attack Shabana feels all communication and exchange with Pakistan  must stop.

Says  the activist actress, “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.”

Recuperating in hospital  from an attack of swine flu she says,  “I am filled with pain and grief  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.Javed and I were invited by Karachi Arts Council for a 2 day event celebrating my fatherKaifi 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 .”

However she counsels against  generating animosity between  civilians on  both sides. “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 .”

 Filmmaker  Aditya Dhar  whose Uri a film on the  gruesome attack  on Indian soldiers by Pakistan has created boxoffice havoc , has taken  the  latest attack very  personally.  “This  attack is  truly heartbreaking.I don’t know why but now after  having made Uri I am taking this  attack very personally.I think  our Government needs  to take the strongest action  to ensure such  carnage doesn’t happen again.”

Aditya who at one point in  time was  contemplating directing a  film with  Pakistan’s FawadKhan, also  feels like Shabana that Pakistan ‘s  artistes  must be  banned  in India for now. “Just as Pakistan  is being isolated in every  way possible the  country should  be isolated in matters of cultural exchange also. After this latest attack we should sever all  ties and  stop  all communication with Pakistan.”

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