NEW DELHI -- Weeks after the ruckus created by Shiv Sena over the visits of Pakistan's former foreign minister, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, and singer Ghulam Ali, to Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party said that his party isn't happy about offering protection to any visitor from Pakistan.
"In fact, we are not at all happy to give protection to any person from Pakistan because they have been hostile to us," Fadnavis told The Economic Times in an interview published on Wednesday.
"However, diplomacy demands that if somebody comes on a diplomatic passport and you have given him a valid visa, you have to protect him," he said.
Last month, Shiv Sena activists carried out an ink attack on columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was hosting a book launch for Kasuri's book in Mumbai. Singer Ghulam Ali's concerts in Mumbai and Pune were cancelled following protests by the right-wing party.
After "Sainiks" stormed into the Board of Control for Cricket in India office Wankhede Stadium, earlier this month, BCCI and Pakistan Cricket Board officials were forced to move their meeting to discuss India-Pakistan bilateral series from Mumbai to Delhi.
In light of the persisting violence on the Indo-Pak border and the Line of Control, and the death of Indian soldiers as a result of exchange of fire and shelling, Shiv Sena believes that the Indian government should not be hosting Pakistanis or any events, which they perceive as detracting from the gravity of the situation.
These recent episodes in Mumbai have led to a war of words and strained relations between the BJP and Shiv Sena, which form an alliance in Maharashtra, but the leadership from both sides have ruled out a break up.
In his interview with ET, Fadnavis said that his government had arrested the men who had thrown ink on Kulkarni, and he claimed that his government would have provided support for Ali's concert, but it was the organisers who backed out.