STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Sena Should Respect Others' Freedom of Expression: Kulkarni

Kulkarni describes self as an agent of peace, not a Pakistani agent as labelled by Shiv Sena for hosting Kasuri, asks saffron party to respect freedom of expression.

Published: 13th October 2015 05:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th October 2015 05:14 PM   |  A+A-

kasuri-pti

Former foreign minister of Pakistan Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri with ORF Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni during the release of his book "Neither a Hawk nor a Dove" in Mumbai on Monday | PTI

By PTI

MUMBAI: ORF chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni today described himself as an "agent of peace" and not a "Pakistani agent" as labelled by Shiv Sena for hosting former Pakistan minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and asked the saffron party to respect other people's freedom of expression.

"I have been labelled a Pakistani agent in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'. I respect their freedom of expression. They should also respect others' freedom of expression," Kulkarni said at a press conference here.

The Observer and Research Foundation (ORF) had organised Kasuri's book launch event at Nehru Centre in Worli, Central Mumbai, which took place as scheduled last evening amidst tight security.

"When it is said I am a Pakistani agent, I say yes, I am an agent but an agent of peace and will continue to be one," he said.

Asked about the arrest of six persons who allegedly smeared his face black yesterday for organising Kasuri's book launch here, he said, "I am not concerned about their arrest and bail. I have faith in our judiciary."

"Ours is a democracy. Freedom of thought and speech is a fundamental thing," Kulkarni said.

"ORF is a non-political organisation. I don't want to comment on Sena-BJP ties," he said.

To a question on the performance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kulkarni, who has served as speech writer for BJP veterans Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani, said "From the day he assumed office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun efforts to usher in a new beginning in south Asia."

Both the sides (India and Pakistan) want the dialogue to go ahead, he said.

"I am happy that the people of Mumbai appreciated our efforts," Kulkarni said, and thanked those who attended the book launch in large numbers despite the Sena threat to disrupt the event.

Meanwhile, reacting to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' criticism of blackening of Kulkarni's face, Sena leader Sanjay Raut today said "CM Fadnavis has not understood Maharashtra. In fact, the state has been defamed due to his statement."

Raut's response came amid reports that Sena workers who blackened Kulkarni's face yesterday, met party president Uddhav Thackeray at the latter's residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra today.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

edexworks
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp