Dear Javed Akhtar, Your ill-Informed Views About Pakistan Are In Horrible Taste!

Javed Akhtar

Writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar recently visited Lahore to attend the 7th Faiz Festival in memory of poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.  In a video from the festival, Akhtar took potshots at Pakistan when asked to take back his messages of peace, and tell Indians that Pakistanis welcomed him with love. He said that as someone who witnessed firsthand the horror of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, it would be wrong to expect Indians to ignore the fact that the perpetrators of those attacks are still living freely in Pakistan. “The attackers weren’t from Norway or Egypt. They are still present in your country, so you should not be offended if an Indian complains about this,” he said. He also pointed out that while India has hosted several Pakistani artists in the past, Pakistan has never hosted Lata Mangeshkar.

Shocked Pakistani Fraternity Speaks up

Akhtar’s hypocrisy didn’t go well with a bevy of stars in the entertainment industry of Pakistan. Taking to Instagram, actor Saboor Aly urged all those who showered Akhtar with immense respect and happily cheered for him even though he insulted the country while being on the soil to have some self-respect.

Saboor Aly

“What a shame! All the educated illiterate – the so-called niche – you never gave the same respect to your own talent?” she asked.

Lollywood star Resham, who attended the after-party with Akhtar, claimed that she was unaware of Akhtar’s controversial remarks, she said, “My country is more dear to me than anything else. I absolutely had no knowledge of what Javed Akhtar sahab said about my country in the Faiz Festival session. I condemn his words. As per our customs of special treatment, we consider guests God’s mercy but Pakistan is more precious to us than our hearts and lives.”

“Who gave him the visa?” questioned actor, writer and director Shaan Shahid

Aijaz Aslam simply said that the fact that Akhtar returned safely to his home country is a testament to how tolerant the country was. “Mr Javed Akhtar, would you mind shedding some light on the Kashmir issue? his tweet read.

Singer Haroon Shahid had a bigger issue with Akhtar’s statement

Anoushey Ashraf shared her opinion and said that respecting guests is essential but not at the cost of your own self-respect.

Javed Akhtar Responds To His Controversial Statement

Asked about the comment today in an exclusive interview, the writer and poet told NDTV: “They all clapped. They agreed with me. There are many people who admire India, want to have a relationship with us”.

“We tend to think of countries as monolith. That is not the case. How do we connect with millions of people who want to connect with India,” he added.

Asked if this is then the right time to engage in talks, Mr Akhtar said, “I don’t have that kind of calibre”(to respond to this query)”.

“People who are in power, who are holding that position, understand what is happening, what is the situation how to go about it. Pakistan Army, Pakistani people, and Pakistani establishment are not on the same page,” he added.

Final Word

It’s shocking to see a writer with so much experience choose a literature festival to share his biased political views. Why did he accept the invitation to visit a terrorist country? The ill-informed Akhtar is ignorant to a large extent. Pakistan has hosted multiple Indian artists like Sonu Nigam (2004), Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu (2012) and recently veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah hosted the Karachi Literature Festival (2022). Keeping in view the hypercritic behavior of Javed Akhtar, we can easily say that in future, the guest list of literature festivals would be made more carefully.

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