Shiv Sena Demands Cancellation of Ex-Pak Minister's Mumbai Book Launch

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Mr Kasuri will launch the book 'Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider's Account of Pakistan's Foreign Policy', in Mumbai on October 12.


Mumbai:  After boycotting Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali's concert, Shiv Sena is targeting Pakistan's Former Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book launch in Mumbai.

The organisers have been asked to call off the programme and told that the Sena cadres would disrupt it otherwise.

Shiv Sena - which is ruling Maharashtra in alliance with the BJP - has cited Pakistan's support to terror as the reason for  its opposition.

In an interview to NDTV, Aditya Thackeray -- Sena chairperson and the son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray -- had said, "We cannot sit and enjoy and music in Mumbai while soldiers are being martyred in Kashmir. There has to be some sort of boycott."

The Observer Research Foundation Mumbai, which is organising the event, has approached Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking "adequate security" for Mr Kasuri, who will be in Mumbai for the October 12 launch.

"Our purpose in organising this function is to make our own humble contribution to the much-needed normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan," ORF Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni had said reported news agency Press Trust of India. "Kasuri's widely appreciated book shows his strong commitment to peaceful and cooperative ties between our two countries."

Shiv Sena had boycotted Ghulam Ali's function despite the disapproval of the BJP and Chief Minister Mr Fadnavis. Party sources had said it would not change its 20-year-old stand on Pakistan to be in sync with the BJP. "It is up to the moral conscience of every politician," Mr Thackeray had said.

Mr Thackeray's father, party chief Uddhav Thackeray, is skipping a function today, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be attending a pre-planned programme in the state's Beed district to meet farmers and review the drought situation.

"For us, farmers in distress are equally important, and so Uddhavji has to visit the Marathwada as planned earlier," senior Sena minister Ramdas Kadam said.


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