It’s been over 100 days since the illegal Kashmir lock-down. And while it goes to the credit of the Pakistani government and people for highlighting the grave situation in the valley at every international forum, a recent “initiative” by the Punjab Government has not gone down too well with most Pakistanis.
The government of Punjab recently put out an ad sharing that it had invited the Romanian band, Akcent for a concert to highlight Indian atrocities against the people of Kashmir!
Needless to say this “innovative” way to raise awareness about the plight of Kashmiri people left many Pakistanis very confused.
Sarcasm was rampant…
…As was disgust…
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The Government of Punjab eventually stepped in to clear the air and explain the wisdom behind inviting Akcent to support the Kashmir cause.
A spokesperson from the Governor House told media that the Governor’s office had cancelled the event after its details were shared with it.
However, on Sunday, the Chairperson of Chief Minister’s Task Force on Women Development, Tanzila Imran, who was also the host of the event refuted claims of cancellation saying that the concert was very much on the cards and pop singer Adrian Sina was expected to land in Pakistan soon.
Tanzila Imran claimed this was why she had invited Akcent to highlight the Kashmir cause internationally.
Ms. Imran told media that she had found the singer on Twitter after he sent out a series of tweets denouncing India and supporting the Kashmiri people.
She also said that Sina had greeted Pakistan on 14th August but had not replicated the same gesture for India on its Independence Day.
Finally, Akcent had also tweeted, “Fantastic cup of tea,” after the capture of Indian Airforce Pilot Abhinandan earlier this year, prompting the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) to invite him for a “cup of tea” to Pakistan.
The concert was appearantly funded out of Tanzila Imran’s own pocket and not the Government of Punjab.
Going by Ms. Imran’s statement, the concert was privately funded and she had spent 2.8 million from her own pocket to make the event a reality for the “people of Kashmir.”
She also clarified that the Government of Punjab had only given an advertisement while the Governor House had only committed to lend its premises for the concert.
The concert did take place but not at Governor House…
After the Government of Punjab shied away from hosting the event following the backlash, the concert was shifted to Alhamra Cultural Complex in Lahore.
Any references to Kashmir during the concert were withdrawn and the organizers were not provided with Kashmiri flags that were originally supposed to be distributed among the participants.
Here’s our final word on the controversy…
It is not uncommon for international celebrities to be brought in to raise awareness about issues of importance. A celebrity shout-out does, in fact, go a long way in rallying support for a cause.
However, instead of putting out an advertisement that explicitly linked the concert with the Kashmir cause, it would perhaps have been shrewder to hold the concert and subtly slip in Kashmir without making it look like a government sponsored effort.
Had the message been allowed to go out “organically,” the backlash could have been avoided while at the same time achieving whatever nd goal the government had in mind.
Hire a better PR firm guys!
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