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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 

 

 

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Women of Pakistan Protest Against Workplace Harassment, Child Marriage

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded "the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country"

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Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's
Pakistan Flag, wikimedia commons

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, women took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage ‘honour killings, wage inequalities and limited political representation.

Organisers hope that the “aurat march” (women’s march) and “aurat azadi march” (women’s liberation march) will draw attention to the struggle for reproductive, economic, and social justice across in Pakistan, reports the Guardian.

The first “Aurat March” was held last year in Karachi; this time, the rally has been extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.

The aim is to reach ordinary women in factories, homes and offices, says Nighat Dad, an “aurat march” organiser in Lahore.

“We want an organic movement by women demanding equal access to justice and ending discrimination of all kinds.”

Speakers at the Lahore march ranged from a woman fighting to reform marriage laws to the women who worked on the landmark Punjab Domestic Workers’ Act — a legislation that outlaws child labour in homes and provides maternity benefits to workers.

Another activist, Leena Ghani, noted that Pakistani women have a history of taking to the streets, famously during military dictator Zia ul-Haq’s martial law in the 1980s.

Krishna Kumari works in her office in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2018. VOA

While Pakistan has made major strides towards gender equality, poorer, marginalised women and transgender citizens continue to struggle, Ghani added.

Designer Shehzil Malik created a series of striking posters for the “aurat march” that counter typical representations of Pakistani women as docile and subservient.

Women are also protesting against discriminatory policies in universities, where male and female students are afforded different levels of freedom, the Guardian said.

A Pakistani university recently caused a furore on social media by banning women from wearing skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts.

Also Read- Originality is a Dichotomous Terminology, Says Megastar Amitabh Bachchan

In his message on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing women a safe environment so that they could contribute to the country’s development, Dawn news reported.

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring women a secure and enabling environment to play their rightful role in our nation’s development.”

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded “the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country”. (IANS)