Academics tell Urdu scholar to not accept Pak honour

Urdu scholar and author Gopi Chand Narang, chosen for Pakistan's third highest civilian honour 'Sitara-i-Imtiaz', has been urged by a section of academics not to accept the "meaningless" award in light of recent events which have affected Indo-Pak ties.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, several academics from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Ambedkar University appealed to the government not to grant permission to Narang to go to Islamabad to receive the award.

However, Narang (82) said he would not be able to go to Pakistan to receive the award due to ill health but regretted that the issue was being "politicised". He said the controversy would not stop him from accepting the award here. A former president of Sahitya Akademi, Narang's name figured in the list of Pakistan's national award recipients announced on the eve of the country's independence day in August 2012. The investiture ceremony for the awards is scheduled for March 23 this year Pakistan's National Day.

"Considering the recent series of incidents... it does not seem wise to receive any honour from such a government...," said Khalaid Alvi, Head of Urdu department, Zakir Hussain College, University of Delhi.

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