Ghulam Ali invited to Delhi, AAP slams Shiv Sena

New Delhi : Delhi’s ruling AAP on Thursday invited noted Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali to perform here after he cancelled his Mumbai concert following threats from the Shiv Sena. It condemned the Shiv Sena for threatening to disrupt the concert.

Delhi’s Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra tweeted: “Sad that Ghulam Ali is not being allowed in Mumbai. I invite him to come to Delhi and do the concert. Music has no boundaries.”

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The 75-year-old singer was scheduled to perform in Mumbai and Pune this week as part of the death anniversary tribute to singer Jagjit Singh. But the show in Mumbai was called off on Wednesday after the Shiv Sena threat.

Ghulam Ali told a news channel that he was “disappointed as people who were interested in the concert were disappointed” and also because it was a tribute to Jagjit Singh, who was like a brother to him.

“This should not be seen as an India-Pakistan issue. Rather it is a symbol of love and affection,” he said.

The Aam Aadmi Party condemned the Shiv Sena for issuing threats and said it was “an unspeakable shame” that the state government was promoting elements of hate.

“AAP believes that this act of Shiv Sena has shown that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is incapable of leading a state,” the party said in a statement.

“Why did the organisers of the show visit (Shiv Sena chief) Uddhav Thackeray? Who is the chief minister of the state – Fadnavis or Thackeray?” the party asked.

“The Pakistani singer is an emblem of all that is good in India and Pakistan. He stands for the harmony that exists in our two countries. He spreads the message of peaceful co-existence – ‘Diwali mein Ali aur Ramzan mein Ram’,” it added.

The party said “disturbing elements are flourishing as they have the protection and support of the BJP government”.

Fadnavis also expressed disappointment over the cancellation. He said his government was ready to provide proper security to Ali for the concert.

However, the Shiv Sena defended its stand and said that people cannot have fun especially when innocents were being killed on the India-Pakistan border.

“We have encounters going on everywhere, so many ceasefire violations. When this is happening, we can’t be having fun here,” Sena leader Aditya Thackeray told reporters in Mumbai.