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The literary and arts community of Pakistan has expressed disappointment over Shabana Azmi and husband Javed Akhtar cancelling their Karachi visit, in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

“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,” Omair Alavi, a well-known film critic, said.

The Arts Council of Pakistan, on Saturday, said it 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.”

Shabana Azmi on Friday said she and 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.

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Vijay Nanda

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