Pakistani singer Atif Aslam’s music event in Pune dropped after Shiv Sena opposition

MUMBAI, Apr 22 (INP): A music event by Pakistani singer- actor Atif Aslam, planned in Pune on April 25, has been cancelled amid threats by Shiv Sena, which has mostly resisted cultural events featuring artists from the neighbouring country.

The show by Atif Aslam, who has a sizeable fan following in India, was cancelled after selling over 1,000 tickets, which the organisers said would be refunded to those who bought them.

“We cannot proceed with the show after Shiv Sena opposed it. Late Bal Thackeray has always been an inspiration for us. He used to say that patriotism is above everything else,” show organiser Sanjay Sathe told reporters in Pune last evening.

“We belong to the art world. We wanted to do this show. However, the reason for the cancellation is before you,” Sathe said.

According to Sena sources, a former party MLA had written a letter to police expressing strong reservations about the singer from Pakistan being hosted “at a time when the neighbouring country has been indulging in ceasefire violations.”

Mahadev Babar, who was an MLA from Hadapsar, and local Sena leader Kirti Pathak wrote the letter to Pune Police Commissioner saying that “Our border is not safe anymore due to continuous firing from the Pakistani side.”

Another Sena leader and former MLA, Chandrakant Mokate, also voiced strong opposition to hosting a singer from Pakistan when there have been ceasefire violations by the country.

The Shiv Sena has in the past too opposed performance of Pakistani artists in India under different pretexts.