Mumbai: Hours after the reports that Shiv Sena has called off the protest against former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's book launch, the party took a U-turn and said that it has not decided any such thing.
Earlier in the day Sena workers smeared black ink on the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising former the launch event.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut addressed media persons and said that the reports of Shiv Sena calling off protests are not true.
Raut said that Kasuri has been acting against India's interests and has been supporting Kashmiri separatists. “Kasuri is a big supporter of Hurriyat Conference and other separatist organisations and devised a strategy to strengthen them against India,” added Raut.
“We have sent to the CM the evidence of Kasuri's acts against India,” said Raut in Mumbai.
Calling Kulkarni a “Pakistani agent” for organising the event, Raut said that welcoming a person like Kasuri on a red carpet is disrespecting our nation.
Earlier today, Ksuri said that he was not depressed by the protest of Shiv Sena activists who threw ink at Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of Observer and Research Foundation (ORF).
"I have been a political worker myself, I understand political protests, but it should be in a peaceful manner. I am not depressed by things like these, I know there are people in Pak & India who do not want good relations between two nations," he said.
"Overwhelming majority of people in Pak want good relations with India, Ordinary people in Pak want good relations with India," he added.
Kasuri further noted that strengthening relation between India and Pakistan will be in interest of both the nations.
"In 2004 we wanted BJP to win because we had made good progress in talks with Vajpayee ji and Brajesh Mishra ji," he said.
Meanwhile, undeterred by the attack, Kulkarni said that the book launch event will continue as scheduled.
"We won't be cowed down by such events and the book launch will happen as planned," he said.
Kasuri is scheduled to attend the launch of his book 'Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider's Account of Pakistan's Foreign Policy' in Mumbai. Sena had demanded that the event be scrapped and had threatened to disrupt it.
The Sena, which shares power with the BJP in Maharashtra, has written to the director of Worli's Nehru Centre, the launch venue, to cancel the event because of the Pakistan connection.