In Pakistan, Javed Akhtar recalls 26/11 attack: ‘…still roaming free' | Watch | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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In Pakistan, Javed Akhtar recalls 26/11 Mumbai attack: ‘They are still roaming free' | Watch

By, New Delhi
Feb 21, 2023 03:15 PM IST

Javed Akhtar was attending a festival organised in memory of renowned Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, who was in Pakistan, reminded a gathering there that the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks are still roaming free in their country, and it's justified that Indians have complaints against it. Akhtar was attending a festival organised in memory of renowned Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz in Lahore. A video clip of Akhtar's comment went viral on social media.

Poet-lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar.(AFP file)
Poet-lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar.(AFP file)

The Print reported that Akhtar was responding to a person who asked to take with him a message of peace, and to tell Indians that Pakistan is “a positive, friendly and loving country”.

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“You have visited Pakistan many times…When you go back do you tell your people that these are good people, they aren’t just bombing us but also greeting us with garlands and love?” the person in the audience reportedly asked him.

To this Akhtar replied, “Let us not blame each other. That won’t solve issues. Jo garam hai fiza, woh kam honi chahiye. Hum toh Bambaiye log hain. Hamne dekha wahan kaise hamla hua tha. Wo log Norway se toh nahi aaye the naa Egypt se aaye the, wo log abhi bhi aapke mulk me ghum rahe hain. Toh ye shikayat agar Hindustani ke dil mein ho toh aapko bura nahi manna chahiye (The atmosphere needs to cool down. I am from Bombay and all of us witnessed the attack on Bombay. The attackers weren’t from Norway, or from Egypt. They are still present in your country, so you should not be offended if an Indian complains about this).”

The top lyricist also reminded the gathering that even though Pakistani artistes such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehdi Hasan have performed in India, Pakistan has never hosted a Lata Mangeshkar show.

“Mehdi Hassan was a cult figure in India. When he visited India, Shabana (Azmi) hosted it, I wrote for the event which was graced by the likes of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. When Faiz sahab visited, it seemed like an authority was visiting…it was broadcast all over. Have you ever seen Sahir (Ludhianvi), Kaifi (Azmi) or (Ali) Sardar Jafri’s interviews on PTV? It was shown in India, it happened there… So the communication blockade is from both sides and perhaps more from your side,” The Print quoted Akhtar saying.

Ten Pakistani terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba stormed buildings in Mumbai, killing 164 people. Nine of the gunmen were killed during the attacks, one survived. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman, was executed in November 2012. They had travelled from Karachi, Pakistan, to Mumbai via boat. The terrorists docked at the Mumbai waterfront near the Gateway of India monument, hijacked cars, including a police van, and split into at least three groups to carry out the attacks.

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