Mumbai: Veteran lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar today lashed out at Pakistani artistes, saying the fact they have not condemned the Uri attack is a kind of a "confession" that the country is responsible for it.
Akhtar, 71, said he does not see any reason behind Pakistani artistes' silence on the attack. "The silence of Pakistani actors is a form of confession that Pakistan is responsible for it (the attack). If Pakistan says they aren't responsible for it, I don't see any reason any Pakistani artiste should not condemn it. If they say, 'We are not responsible' then very good, come out and condemn it," he told a news channel.
Earlier in the day, actress-MP Hema Malini sought to steer clear of the controversy surrounding the demand for a ban on Pakistani actors working in Bollywood, saying she respects the artistes but cannot ignore the sacrifice of Indian soldiers.
"As an artist I appreciate their work but I don't want to comment about whether they should live here or leave this country," she said at an event in Delhi.
"Artistes are artistes whether they are from Pakistan or India. But it is unfortunate that they are from Pakistan. I must say that they are good artistes. They have performed well here in India," the BJP MP from Mathura added. Noted lyricist Gulzar also avoided a direct answer on the strained ties between the two nations.
"Is this relevant to the programme for which we have come? Aap agar shaadi may jaayein, aur baat frontier ki karne lage, theek lagega? We should talk of Motu Patlu to the soldiers there? Be relevant to the occasion," 82-year-old Gulzar told reporters.
Actress Radika Apte was forthcoming in her opinion on the demand for ban on Pakistani artistes. When asked about the issue at the launch of watch brand 'Swatch', she told reporters, "I think if a Swiss watch can come to the country and have their own corporate stores, I think a Pakistani actor should come here and do a film here in India. That's my statement."