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Pakistani artists are in the crossfire of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the terrorist attack that killed 18 soldiers in Kashmir, earlier this month. After a right-wing group in Maharashtra told Pakistani artists to leave the country by September 25, concerts of two Pakistani singers, Atif Aslam and Shafqat Amanat Ali, have been called off.
While Aslam's concert was to be held at the Leisure Valley park in Gurugram on October 15, Ali's performance was scheduled for September 30 at the Forum Mall in Bengaluru.
The name of Gurgaon was official changed to Gurugram, last week.
"Considering the sentiments of armed forces/soldiers at the frontier, the organisers are advised by the district administration, Gurgaon, to defer the Atif Aslam concert," the district administration of Gurugram in a release, The Indian Express
Koncept Entertainment, which was organising Aslam's event, said that his performance was "indefinitely postponed."
Prior to issuing the release, members of the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Kranti Dal met with Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner T L Satyaprakash, and handed him a letter which said, "if the event takes place, and any incident happens because of it, the district administration will be responsible."
"Gurgaon district administration plays with the sentiments of the country by giving Pakistani artists permission to perform here. On the one hand, soldiers are losing their lives at the border because of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, and on the other, the district administration... is inviting them here as guests," the letter stated.
Satyaprakash told The Indian Express:
"There are chances of public protest or incidents like shoe-hurling. But if they (organisers) want to go ahead with the concert, we have to provide security, but half-heartedly."
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Uri, Kashmir on 18 September, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navanirman Sena had issued a 48-hour ultimatum for Pakistani artists including Fawad Khan and Ali Zafar to leave India by September 25.
In Bengaluru, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal objected to Radio Mirchi organising the event, The Times of India
But Radio Mirchi said that the decision to cancel the event was taken without any external pressure. "The concert was cancelled on September 20, much before the saffron parties raised the issue, demanding cancellation of the event," Radio Mirchi Group Manager (Sales) Srinivas said, Press Trust of India
Officials of the Forum Mall said: "Due to the deterioration of relation between the neighbours country we have instructed not to conduct any activity involving artist from Pakistan at the venue."