Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi drop their Pak visit to celebrate Kaifi Azmi's birth centenary

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Feb 18: The celebrity couple Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar is often under attack for their candid views on minority issues and have rubbed the government the wrong way. But the couple has proved that it is patriotic at the bottom of the heart and that the heart beats for the countrymen. Veteran actor Shabana Azmi and celebrated lyricists and writer Javed Akhtar have cancelled their Karachi visit in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack. They were visiting Karachi to attend Kaifi Azmi's birth centenary celebrations. The literary and arts community of Pakistan has expressed disappointment over the cancelling of the visit.Omair Alavi, a well-known film critic, said, "Shabana and Javed sahab have always been seen as progressive people who have spoken out in favour of bettering Indo-Pak relations. So their reaction to the Pulwama incident has come as a surprise to the arts and literary community in Karachi."

Shabana Azmi on Friday said she and her husband Javed Akhtar have decided not to attend Kaifi Azmi's birth centenary celebrations in Karachi. The couple was invited to Pakistan by the Karachi Arts Council for a two-day event. After the attack, Azmi said she feels weakened in her belief that people-to-people contact can force the establishment to do the right thing.

On Saturday, the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, regretted the two artistes' decision. Arts Council president Ahmed Shah also expressed regrets over Akhtar's comments. "His comments do not seem appropriate for a literary person." In one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir's three decades of militancy, a Jaish suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus in Pulwama district, killing at least 40 personnel and leaving many critically wounded.The Arts Council president said he felt sorry that Azmi has lost hope. "I don't criticise her but we deeply feel saddened the way she had expressed disappointment after the Pulwama attack," he said. "We firmly believe that artistes and people who are regarded for their literary and artistic contribution are the ones who give hope to people. They never disappoint them. But this time, Shabana Azmi sounds extremely disappointed." The couple chose to remain quiet in the entire episode.

With Agencies, Pic Google