Govt urged to stop Junoon’s Srinagar performance

22 May 2008
The Dawn

Muzaffarabad: The United Jihad Council (UJC) has asked the federal government to stop the rock music band Junoon from performing in Srinagar, saying it may send a ‘wrong message’ to Kashmiris. The band is scheduled to hold a concert on Sunday on the bank of the Dal Lake. Among the audience will be Indian President Pratibha Patil and a host of dignitaries from member nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The concert is part of celebrations marking the inauguration by Ms Patil of the Kashmir Studies Institute at Kashmir University. It has been sponsored by the Indian chapter of the South Asia Foundation in collaboration with the university. “Pakistan should not let any of its cultural groups, such as Junoon, to perform in the disputed territory of Kashmir where any national or international activity amounts to open violation of international laws,” UJC chairman Syed Salahuddin said on Thursday. “The performance by a Pakistani singing group will send a very wrong message to Kashmiris and give an opportunity to India to give an impression to the international community that Kashmir is its integral part and it can invite any world leader and hold functions there,” he said. He said Kashmiris were already facing an onslaught of Indian culture and “when they see Pakistani boys and girls singing and dancing before Indians, their expectations from Pakistan will be dashed”. He said Pakistan’s rulers should stop India from holding any international or regional event in Kashmir. He also called upon Kashmiris to observe a strike on Saturday, the day the Indian president arrives in Srinagar on her maiden visit.