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Javed Akhtar cancels Karachi visit in wake of Pulwama terror attack 

The Karachi Arts Council had invited Akhar and his actress wife Shabana Azmi for a literature conference about Kaifi Azmi and his poetry.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Noted lyricist-screenwriter Javed Akhtar has cancelled a scheduled visit to Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack that killed 44 Indian CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) officers. A lone jihadist rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a convoy of CRPF soldiers in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir.

"Kranchi [Karachi] Art Council had invited. Shabana and me for a two day lit conference about Kaifi Azmi and his poetry. We have cancelled that. In 1965 during the Indo Pak war Kaifi saheb had written a poem. AUR PHIR KRISHAN NE ARJUN SE KAHA,” tweeted Akhtar.

With Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-E-Mohammed claiming responsibility for the fidayeen attack, the Indian government and citizens are venting their anger against Pakistan.

Like most Indians, Akhtar was left disturbed by the terror attack. Akhtar revealed how he had a special relationship with the CRPF Jawans.

“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 [sic]," tweeted Akhtar.

Had this attack not taken place, Akhtar would have travelled to Pakistan alone as his wife Azmi has been recuperating at home after suffering from swine flu.

Cultural ties are the first thing that get affected in the aftermath of terror attacks from across the border. In 2016, the Uri terror attack led to many in the Indian film and television industry asking for all cultural ties between Pakistan and India to be cut off. Though there was no official ban, various film unions had instructed all filmmakers to not hire Pakistani artistes or technicians. Karan Johar had faced a lot of flak as his film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016) had Pakistani actor Fawad Khan.