BJP cloud looms on lit fest

Jaipur, Jan. 22: The BJP today said Pakistani authors will not be welcome at the Jaipur Literature Festival that opens on Thursday.

Seven Pakistani authors, including Jamil Ahmad (The Wandering Falcon) and Mohammed Hanif (Our Lady of Alice Bhatti) whose sessions are listed on the first day, are scheduled to participate in the seventh edition of the festival.

The others are Fahmida Riaz, M.A. Farooqi, Nadeem Aslam, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Ameena Saiyid.

State BJP president Arun Chaturvedi said: "We want to expose the double standards of Pakistan. On the one hand they are beheading our soldiers on the border, and on the other hand they want to come here as literary and cultural ambassadors, which we would not allow.

"We would hold protests and demonstrations, but peacefully, and let them know our concerns. We have let the organisers know our dissent."

A large group from the BJP Yuva Morcha, led by its president Rishi Bansal, today met police commissioner B.L. Soni and handed over a memorandum saying they would protest at the venue if Pakistani authors are allowed.

Soni said: "We would provide adequate security to the JLF as and when required."

Festival organiser Sanjoy Roy said: "The programmes would go on as per schedule."

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