Javed Akhtar reacts to viral clip slamming Pakistan for 26/11 attack; says ‘They agreed with me’ – Times of India

Bollywood veteran Javed Akhtar won over the internet for boldly addressing the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, while on his visit to Pakistan for a literary festival.
His comments about the masterminds of the terror attacks roaming free in Pakistan went viral on social media, with many hailing the star for speaking his mind. Turns out, his comment wasn’t just widely appreciated in India, but also among the Pakistani audiences who attended the festival.

In his recent interview with a news portal, Javed revealed that his comment was well-received in Pakistan. “They all clapped,” he said and went on to add, “They agreed with me.”
“There are many people who admire India and want to have a relationship with us. We tend to think of countries as a monolith. That is not the case. How do we connect with millions of people who want to connect with India,” he said in a statement to NDTV.

At the festival, the actor also spoke about the importance of maintaining friendly ties between both countries. When asked if he believed a middle ground is needed for talks, he said, “People who run the country know better. My information is little. We in India have very limited information about Pak people. Same is the case with them”.

The lyricist’s video from the event which went viral online, also saw him promoting peaceful and friendly talks between the two neighbouring countries. “We should not blame each other. It will solve nothing. The atmosphere is tense, that should be doused,” the 78-year-old lyricist said.

While wading on the Mumbai terror attacks, he said, “We are people from Mumbai, we have seen the attack on our city. They (the 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 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. “We hosted big functions of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehdi Hasan. You (Pakistan) never organised a function for Lata Mangeshkar,” the poet said, drawing loud cheers and applause from the audience.

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

When asked about his marriage with Azmi and love for her, he said: “I share such a strong bond of friendship with Shabana that even marriage couldn’t break it.”

He said Urdu’s original name was Hindvi and when everything was divided (during the Partition), “Urdu being a language could not be divided, so it was pushed to Pakistan.”

Regarding the lack of depth in performing arts and arts, the lyricist said the speed of communication has come at the cost of depth.

He left Pakistan on Monday after the conclusion of the three-day festival which attracted a large audience from all walks of life at Lahore’s Alhamra Arts Council.

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