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Pakistan Artist Refuses Govt Assistance Over Jindal-Sharif Meeting

A well-known Pakistani television and theatre artist has refused to accept government assistance of 5 lakh rupees for the treatment of her ovarian cancer in protest against the visit of an Indian steel tycoon to the country.

PTI

Updated:April 28, 2017, 10:16 PM IST
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Pakistan Artist Refuses Govt Assistance Over Jindal-Sharif Meeting
Image for representation only. (Photo: Reuters)

Karachi: A well-known Pakistani television and theatre artist has refused to accept government assistance of 5 lakh rupees for the treatment of her ovarian cancer in protest against the visit of an Indian steel tycoon to the country.

Naila Jafri, who has acted in several memorable plays, was due to receive a cheque of 500,000 rupees from President Mamnoon Hussain's Artist Welfare Fund, but she has now turned down the assistance.

She said she had applied for the grant and the cheque has been processed and was to be delivered to her in a few days.

"But now I cannot accept a dime from the government that entertains people from the very country that has been plotting against us our interests and our people," she told the Express Tribune newspaper on Friday, referring to the visit of Sajjan Jindal to Pakistan and his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Jindal on Wednesday had an hour-long meeting with Sharif at the premier's private residence in the hill station of Murree, about 45 kms from Islamabad, triggering speculation in the Pakistani media that the stalled India-Pak talks could be revived.

Opposition parties have created an uproar after the "secret" meeting, with Imran Khan's Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf alleging that Jindal conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "message" to Sharif on the issue of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav's death penalty, given by a Pakistani military court.

Jindal is said to be the man who had arranged a meeting between Modi and Sharif in Lahore on December 25 in 2015 on Sharif's birthday and the day when Sharif's grand daughter Mehr-un-Nisa was married.

Jafri said she will no longer accept the government assistance since it has allowed Jindal in Pakistan with a no- police-inquiry visa.

"The love, respect and prayers I have received from my people when they came to know of my illness are unimaginable and I won't do anything that may hurt their feelings," she said.

India-Pak ties are strained over cross-border terror attacks in India and over the death sentence to Jadhav on charges of spying. India has denied Pakistan's contention and maintained that Jadhav was kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence agencies.

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