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Sena threatens to disrupt Kasuri's book launch, organisers to hold event

Sena threatens to disrupt Kasuri's book launch, organisers to hold event

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured the organisers of full security cover.

Mumbai: In a strong clash of views between the Bharatiya Janata Pary and its ally Shiv Sena, former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book launch remains uncertain. A late night meeting on Sunday between the organiser of the event and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray didn't yield any results.

The Sena has threatened to disrupt the event and has written to the director of Worli's Nehru Centre, the launch venue, to cancel the show because of the Pakistan connection.

Despite threats, a key organiser of the event has said the event will continue as scheduled. Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman of Observer and Research Foundation, a foreign policy think tank, which has organised the event, met Uddhav at the latter's residence Matoshree on Sunday night.

Sources said that Uddhav has made the party's stand clear to Kulkarni and told the organisers that Kasuri is not an artist but a part of a political system that sponsors terror in India.

It is understood that the meeting went futile and Kulkarni left Matoshree without getting any assurance from the Sena leader whose party's threat to disrupt Pakistan ghazal singer Ghulam Ali's concerts led to cancellation of his events in Mumbai and Pune recently.

"I have requested Uddhav Thackeray that Shiv Sena should not oppose the book launch event. I also told him that the event will proceed despite Sena's threat," Kulkarni said.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra's Home department, headed by BJP Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has assured the organisers of full security cover.

Fadnavis said, "For all foreigners, diplomats or foreign dignitaries who are allowed on proper visa in our country it is the responsibility of our goverment to provide them security. Hence Mr.Kasuri and the program will be provided total security. But this doesn't mean that we endorse all views expressed in the program. No anti-India propaganda will be tolerated through any such program. If found so, the organisers would be held responsible."

Kasuri is scheduled to attend the launch of his book 'Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider's Account of Pakistan's Foreign Policy' at 5.30 PM in Worli area here.

(With additional information from PTI)