People of India and Pakistan should engage in deepening their ties but not just on social networks like Facebook, rather in real life, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah said today, speaking at the book launch event of Former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri in Mumbai.
Mr Shah, 66, also said the he had only experienced “affection and regard” on his visits to Pakistan. “I’ve been there to perform several times never has a performance that I was to do been cancelled or held up or disturbed or even endangered in any way,” he said.
“I wish we could have accorded Kasuri sahab the kind of welcome I have always received when I went to his city Lahore,” he said, also sharing his recollections of the partition of India and Pakistan.
Mr Shah described the attack on organiser Sudheendra Kulkarni -with black paint earlier in the morning by Shiv Sena activists who wanted the event to be cancelled, as “barbaric”.
“I think we all empathise with the sense of outrage that was felt at the barbaric incident this morning involving Mr Kulkarni. It’s not so easy to display the kind the fortitude and determination that he did,” he said.
“It takes immense courage to do what Mr Kulkarni did this morning. I am full of admiration for this gesture which I feel it made a statement far stronger than any number of speeches could have,” the actor said.
Despite protests by the Shiv Sena, which co-governs Maharashtra with the BJP, Mr Kasuri’s book Neither a Hawk, Nor a Dove: An Insider Account of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy was launched in the evening as scheduled after assurances of security by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.