Pakistani actors threatened, Indian Film Festival called off in Sydney

Festival director Vikas Paul says, "I have received threats from vested interest groups and was worried about the security of my celebrity guests, myself, sponsors and my team so we have decided to defer it”.

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Pakistani actors threatened over participation in IFF, Sydney; Source- Wikimedia Commons

Sydney, May 7, 2017: Indian film Festival which was supposed to take place in Sydney, Australia has been canceled after the objections over the participation of Pakistani actors by the Indian community in the country.

Indians have been opposing Pakistani actors in India as a result of which many Pakistani actors had to leave the country for a certain period of time.  Now, actors have also been threatened in Sydney.

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The festival is being treated as anti-Indian on the social media. Festival director Vikas Paul says, “I have received threats from vested interest groups and was worried about the security of my celebrity guests, myself, sponsors and my team so we have decided to defer it”. Paul emailed his statement  “We were to also see some artists from Indian Sub-Continent, who were to perform and attend the event, to promote harmony and peace among two countries. But fundamentalist groups here [in Australia] turned it into a political agenda.”

This opposition is in the light of Uri attack in Kashmir which resulted in the martyrdom of 17 soldiers and the breaking of the cease-fire now and then by the Pakistani soldiers has been aggravating the situation.

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The festival was supposed to run for a week starting from 7th may. Many Indian celebrities including Arjun Rampal, Sonu Sood, Dharmendra, Javed Akhtar, Jitendra, Illeana DCruz and many more were expected to be here and to share the stage with the Pakistani actors. However, they showed apprehensions and denied from doing so.

As a result of these threats, Vivek has canceled Pakistani participation in the festival and has made it an “India-Only” performance.

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Paul further added “Even after withdrawing the Pakistani actors and with heightened pressure over our event from ‘anti’ groups, we have decided not to go ahead with the event in view of the safety of not just the celebrities, my personal and family’s well-being, but also for the thousands of people who will be present to view the cultural extravaganza.”

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6