Watch: In Lahore, Javed Akhtar calls out Pak for allowing perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks to roam freely

Akhtar further spoke about how 'Pakistan Army, Pakistani people, Pakistani establishment are not on the same page'

Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar

NH Digital

Javed Akhtar was recently in Pakistan for a literary festival in Lahore, where he said that the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks are still roaming freely in Pakistan and Pakistanis should not feel offended when India talks about it.

Akhtar further spoke about how 'Pakistan Army, Pakistani people, Pakistani establishment are not on the same page.'

In a viral video from the seventh Faiz Festival organised in memory of celebrated Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the writer was seen making comments in response to a member in the audience who told Akhtar to take with him a message of peace and tell Indians that Pakistan is "a positive, friendly and loving country."

"We are people from Mumbai, we have seen the attack on our city. They (attackers) did not come from Norway or Egypt. They are still roaming freely in your country. So if there is a grievance in the heart of a Hindustani, you should not feel offended," Akhtar said at the event.

Akhtar also told the gathering that even though Pakistani artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehdi Hasan have been warmly welcomed in India, Pakistan has never held a single show of Lata Mangeshkar.

At the event, he also spoke at length about language, poetry, performing arts, love and friendship and also about his marriage with actor Shabana Azmi.

He was also asked if this was the right time for talks between India and Pakistan He said he does not have the calibre to respond to this question. "People who are in power, who are holding that position, understand what is happening, what is the situation how to go about it," he said.

After coming back to India, in an interview, Javed Akhtar said that his comment about the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks was well-received in Pakistan.

 "They all clapped. They agreed with me. There are many people who admire India, want to have a relationship with us," he is quoted as saying to NDTV.

"We tend to think of countries as monolith. That is not the case. How do we connect with millions of people who want to connect with India," he added.

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