An open letter to Bollywood journalist Soumyadipta Banerjee by one Asif Nawaz from Pakistan has been doing the rounds of the internet.
The open letter is one lengthy rant against Soumyadipta Banerjee ‘s suggestion that Fawad Khan return to his own country in these times of turmoil.
I hadn’t read Banerjee’s open letter to Fawad Khan until then but upon reading it, I was under the impression it was quite reasonably framed.
It's time for Bollywood to stand with the jawans of this country and ban Pakistani actors like Fawad Khan. Please respond to #UriAttack
— Soumyadipta (@Soumyadipta) September 19, 2016
Bollywood, let's stand #UnitedAgainstPak. Ban Pakistani artists the same way they have banned you. This is not the time to promote culture.
— Soumyadipta (@Soumyadipta) September 19, 2016
Asif Nawaz vehemently raves and rants against Soumyadipta Banerjee’s suggestion of suspension of cultural exchanges with Pakistan.
Any sensible person would agree that cultural exchanges for all these years have accomplished nothing towards establishing cordial relationships between the two countries.
And as Indian soldiers continue to pay for Pakistan’s use of terrorism as state policy with their lives, cultural exchanges are the last thing that should be on anyone’s minds right now.
As a Pakistani, it might be difficult for him to comprehend the depth of our anger but he should have enough common sense to realize that when the blood of our countrymen is spilled by groups backed by the Pakistani establishment, cultural exchanges do not help us associate ourselves closer with Pakistan, they infuriate us.
Asif Nawaz then proceeds to chastise Banerjee by emphasizing on the adulation and admiration showered on the artists from their fans across the borders.
At one point, Nawaz even goes to the extent of asserting that between the two countries, Pakistan makes greater contribution towards the cultural exchange by consuming more Indian movies and TV soaps than it is the other way around.
I agree with Asif Nawaz on this, I do believe Pakistan makes greater contribution towards the cultural exchange between India and Pakistan and it does so by exporting its death cult of terrorism across the border to attack our countrymen and compromise our peace and security.
As is the case with almost every Pakistani, they cannot refrain themselves from labeling allegations of human rights violations by the Indian State in Kashmir.
Asif Nawaz falls into the same pattern seamlessly. He argues since Indian celebrities haven’t condemned the use of pellet guns in Kashmir, Fawad Khan is under no obligation to condemn the Uri attacks.
The argument quite remarkably exposes the depravity of Nawaz’s mindset. The use of pellet guns in Kashmir is prompted by instances of pelting of stones against the Armed Forces, how could anyone in their right mind commit the mistake of equating it with a terrorist attack?
And quite conveniently, Nawaz doesn’t seem to remember the genocide that Pakistan is trying to perpetuate against the Balochs and the separatism that is festering in its own lands of Sindh and Pashtun as well.
Asif Nawaz has obviously been brainwashed by the Pakistani establishment into believing that it doesn’t use terrorism as a state policy against India or has conveniently chosen to ignore the fact.
Moreover, every time situations heat up between Pakistan and India, nuclear threats are issued by someone or the other from the establishment against India.
Fawad Khan and other Pakistani artists may personally have nothing to do with any of this, but how does it make sense for India to continue cultural exchanges with a country that repeatedly threatens us with nukes time and again?
Cultural exchanges cannot and should not occur in an atmosphere of conflict. They undermine the misery of our soldiers and only adds fuel to the fire of resentment in our citizens.
At a time when our countrymen are being bled and separatism is being funded by Pakistan from across the border, Asif Nawaz should have realized that Indians find it hard to sympathize with their Pakistani counterparts.
Asif Nawaz says that 50,000 Pakistanis have lost their lives to terrorism. I feel sad at such meaningless loss of life but acts of terrorism are only to be expected in a society that has adopted Islamic fundamentalism as the cornerstone of their nation.
He argues that the media and the establishment and civil society are trying hard to rid themselves of terrorism. Well, harboring terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed in your midst is not a very effective way of fighting terrorism. You might want to change your approach. And despite all such alleged efforts, support for ISIS in Pakistan is only growing larger by the day.
Asif Nawaz comes across exactly as our Indian liberals who live under the delusion that no matter what the cost, cultural exchanges must not be stopped and genuinely believe contrary to all evidence that cultural exchanges actually help bring the people of the two nations together.
When the people of Pakistan are brainwashed into believing that Indians are out to get them and Indians pay for Pakistan’s transgressions with their blood, there’s not much scope for cultural exchanges to work their magic.
And liberals forget the lessons of history, Pakistan was formed precisely because one particular culture decided that it could not exist with the dominant culture in India and wanted a nation of their own.
The very national identity of Pakistan is rooted in a deep sense of anti-India anti-Hindu hatred. Under such circumstances, cultural exchanges are reduced to business transactions and business transactions are the least that we could sacrifice at the altar of our martyred soldiers.