India hits back: Don’t need Pakistan lecture on tolerance

Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launchWith Pakistan expressing “concern” over Shiv Sena’s attempt to disrupt its former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai by smearing black paint on the face of the event’s organiser, Sudheendra Kulkarni, New Delhi on Tuesday slammed Islamabad for “lecturing” it on tolerance and pluralism. When asked about Pakistan’s statement, a top official source said, “(As if) Pakistan is the embodiment of tolerance and pluralism. India does not need to take a lecture from Pakistan. If India has a shortcoming, it is capable of looking after it.”

Pakistan had expressed concern over the campaign against prominent Pakistani personalities in India by a “fundamentalist organisation” and said there was a need to put an end to such incidents.

Earlier, the Shiv Sena had threatened to disrupt Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts, leading to the cancellation of his events in Mumbai and Pune. “We have noted with concern the attempts to disrupt functions organised in respect of prominent Pakistani personalities on visit to India,” the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. The spokesperson referred to the cancellation of Ghulam Ali’s concert “because of threats from a fundamentalist organisation” and attempts to disrupt the book launch function of Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. “There is a need to ensure that such incidents do not re-occur,” he said. Despite the protest, the organisers on Monday had gone ahead with the book launch.

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