Sufi fest starts sans Pak artistes

MEA, MHA reject invites for 18 Pak authors

Sufi fest starts sans Pak artistes

The fifth edition of the South Asian Sufi Festival began with customary fervour, but writers, poets and scholars from neighbouring Pakistan were absent.

Festival organisers said their request to invite 18 Pakistani authors for the event scheduled between October 6 and 9 was turned down by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Even last year, permission was denied to Pakistani delegation for the South Asian Literature Festival. “The absence of Pakistani writers is a political matter,” author and Padma Shri winner Ajeet Cour said. “We have to get permission from the political division of the MEA. But authors are not given visas on time.”

Earlier, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi and trustee of Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, inaugurated the 5th South Asian Sufi Fest at Jaipur’s Diggi Palace.

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