Actor Shabana Azmi and her husband lyricist Javed Akhtar on Friday said they have decided to not attend poet Kaifi Azmi’s birth centenary celebrations in Pakistan’s Karachi in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack. The couple were invited by the Karachi Arts Council for the two-day event.

“I appreciate that our hosts the Karachi Arts Council mutually agreed with us to cancel the event at the nth hour in the wake of Pulwama attack,” Azmi tweeted on Friday.

Azmi condemned the attack, terming it “dastardly” and called for a halt on cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan. “There is no way we can carry on with cultural exchanges between India and Pakistan even as our martyrs are laying down their lives for us,” Azmi said.

Azmi said there was a difference between the Pakistani establishment and the people of Pakistan. “On both sides of d [the] border stand sisters n brothers divided by circumstances with which they had nothing 2 [to] do,” she said.

Akhtar, who had penned the CRPF anthem launched in 2014, said he shared a special relation with the force. “I have written their anthem, before putting the pen to paper I met a number of CRPF officers and whatever I learned, my respect, admiration and love for these braves increased by many a fold,” he said. “Today I share the grief of the dear ones of the martyrs.”

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