Monday November 19, 2018
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Shiv Sena continues hatemongering, disrupts Pakistani play in Gurgaon

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It seems attacking innocuous singers, artists and writers from across the border has become far-right Shiv Sena’s favourite spare-time activity, for after ensuring that Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali’s concert was cancelled in Mumbai and Pune, a video has gone viral showing how over half-a-dozen young men, claiming to be Shiv Sainiks, disrupted a play by a group of Pakistani actors at Leisure Valley Ground in Gurgaon on Saturday.

The Hindu reported that the actors of Pakistani Group, ‘Mass Foundation’, were holding a play, Baanjh, based on Indo-Pak dispute over Siachen glacier when half-a-dozen young men claiming to be Shiv Sainiks climbed up the stage at around 8:30 PM, started raising slogans against Pakistan and even uprooted the national flag of the Islamic Republic.

Gurgaon police on Sunday arrested four Shiv Saina workers in connection with the attack.

Watch the video here:

“We initially thought that it was part of the play. But we soon realised that they wanted to disrupt the play when they uprooted a Pakistani flag placed on the stage. They also raised slogans against Pakistan and in favour of India. But the organisers of the play soon brought the situation under control and pushed them off the stage and the play was completed,” Satyabir Singh Rohilla, Public Relations Officer, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Even as the Shiv Sainiks were disrupting the play, the audience present at the venue objected to their behaviour, asking them to leave the place at once.

Rohilla said that the two policemen who were supposed to look after the security were nowhere to be seen while all this was happening.

Aamir Nawaz, the director of the play, however, was unperturbed by the incident.

“We have been coming to India since 2008 and staged plays in different parts of the country such as Amritsar, Kurukshetra and Rohtak. We have been to other parts of the world as well, but enjoy performing in India as we share common culture,” Nawaz said.

Talking about the recent incidents of threats against Pakistani artists, actors and singers, Nawaz said in order to defeat such extremist elements, we should increase the cultural exchange between the two countries.

“Even Pakistani media has created a lot of hype about these incidents and our family members were worried about our security. But we were not worried at all.”

The group is expected to perform at Azad Bhawan in Delhi on Monday.

Terming the incident “unfortunate”, MCG Art Consultant V D Trikha said,

“We should not protest against the artists. They belong to all. We have also been to Pakistan several times and got lot of love and affection of the people there. I am happy that the audience present at the play objected to the conduct of those trying to disrupt the play.”

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Vow To Hold Peace Talks With India: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan

Since taking power in August Khan has also sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan prepares to speak at the opening of the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. VOA

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday vowed to hold peace talks with arch-rival India following elections in the neighbouring country, after a similar offer from the former cricketer was “rebuffed.”

Khan made the announcement during a speech at a Saudi Arabian investment conference where the newly minted leader launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors as Pakistan seeks to secure funds amid a yawning balance of payment crisis.

“When I won the elections and came to power the first thing I tried to do was extend a hand of peace to India,” Khan told the crowd at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, saying the overture was later “rebuffed” by Delhi.

“Now what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will resume our peace talks with India,” he added, referring to upcoming nationwide polls scheduled to take place by mid-May.

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Imran Khan, wikimedia commons

In September India pulled the plug on a rare meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of a UN summit — a move that was termed “arrogant” by Khan and unleashed a barrage of insults from both sides.

India has long accused Pakistan of backing militants in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both since independence in 1947.

Delhi has stationed about 500,000 soldiers in the portion of Kashmir it controls, where separatist groups demand independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Khan’s call for peace talks comes as his administration is desperately seeking funds from “friendly” countries, including Saudi Arabia, to shore up Pakistan’s deteriorating finances.

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, surrounded by host country representatives and other participants, attends an investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. VOA

The prime minister’s attendance at the FII comes as leading policy-makers and corporate chiefs shunned the conference in response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

During his address at the FII Khan confirmed that Pakistan was also in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a new bailout.

Also Read: Pakistan Fears Economic Turmoil, Re-thinks ‘Silk Road’ Project With China

Since taking power in August Khan has also sought loans from allies such as China and Saudi Arabia, promised to recover funds stolen by corrupt officials, and embarked on a series of high-profile populist austerity measures.

But help has been in short supply and economists’ warnings have grown increasingly urgent. (VOA)