Javed Akhtar, a renowned Indian poet and writer, has once again found himself embroiled in a controversy, soon after his recent visit to Pakistan for the Faiz Festival held in Lahore.
During the event, Akhtar made a statement accusing Pakistan of allowing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to move around freely in the country. This remark was met with criticism from many quarters, who called out Akhtar for making accusations without any proof.
In his latest statement, Akhtar compared poverty levels in Pakistan and India. At an event, Indian author Chetan Bhagat mentioned Pakistan's current economic struggles and the country's pursuit of a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He asked Akhtar if he observed this during his visit to Pakistan.
When asked about the economic conditions in Pakistan, the veteran responded that he did not see poverty in Lahore during his recent visit, unlike the poverty visible on the streets of India. He claimed that he never saw poor people's homes or individuals wandering on the streets during his three visit to Lahore.
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Responding to Chetan Bhagat's question about whether he travelled via "special streets", Akhtar said that poverty could be seen in Mumbai regardless of the road you take, which was not the case in Pakistan.
These comments have attracted criticism from some who accuse Akhtar of making sweeping generalisations without considering the complex socio-economic realities of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, others have questioned the veracity of Akhtar's claims, pointing out that Lahore, like any other city in the world, has its share of economic disparities and poverty.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.
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