Mumbai: Responding to the Shiv Sena’s accusations of being a ‘Pakistan agent’ and another version of ‘Kasab’, Sudheendra Kulkarni on Tuesday said that he was an agent of peace between India and Pakistan and respected the party’s ‘freedom of speech’.
“I read today’s Saamna and I respect its freedom of speech and the political party of which it is the mouthpiece of. I have been called an agent but I’m an agent of peace between the South Asian nations,” Kulkarni told the media here.
However, he demanded that the Shiv Sena should also respect others freedom of speech and not persecute those who do not agree with them.
Justifying his reason for organizing the book launch of Pakistan’s ex-foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Kulkarni said that it had been an attempt on his behalf to bridge the differences between both nations.
“Ever since our Prime Minister took his post, he has been working on connecting the South Asian nations. He met Nawaz Sharif in Russia and reached an agreement. This means that the government also wants to mend ties with Pakistan. Both nations want a dialogue and our event was an effort towards that endeavor,” he said.
Kulkarni, who is the chairman of Observer Research Foundation Mumbai, cited healed relations between France and Germany to justify his point.
“France and Germany who were enemies in both the World War are major allies now after constructive dialogue. They don’t even need visas to enter each other’s territories. For that matter, the entire Europe does not have the concept of a ‘visa’. We want such a future for India and Pakistan as well,” he said while asserting that this was only possible when people of both nations who want peace come together and talk.
The Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna had earlier today branded Kulkarni as a second ‘Kasab’ for hosting Kasuri.
“If there are people like Kulkarni here there is no need for Pakistan to send the likes of Kasab. Kulkarni can do the damage of 100 Kasabs,” the editorial said. (ANI)