Wed, 23 Oct 2019

Islamabad [Pakistan], Sept 17 (ANI): British actor Jameela Jamil and rapper Riz Ahmed, both of Pakistani origin, have pulled out of an event in the US where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to receive the Global Goalkeeper Award, reported Samaa TV.

The awards, hosted by the BillMelinda Gates Foundation, recognise political leaders who have "demonstrated their commitment to the Global Goals through impactful work in their country and/or globally", the foundation said.

Modi will receive the award for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Clean India Mission), during his visit to the US on September 24.

The mission was launched in October 2014, with an aim to accelerate efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage in India by this year as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.

Taking to Twitter, Jamil said that she would not comment on her decision to pull out of the event as she is threatened with rape and death threats when she talks about world politics and war.

"As I've said before, when I publicly discuss world politics, especially when war is involved, I become the recipient of a multitude of death and rape threats. As a survivor, I cannot and will not endure that treatment, so I will not be commenting on any of this," the tweet read.

Ahmed has not yet made a public comment on the development.

Though no reasons have been given for the two actors to keep out of the event, there is speculation that it could be related to the Indian government's recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a 2018 article in The Cut, Jamil mother is a Pakistani and father an Indian. Ahmed was born in Wembley to Pakistani parents, who moved to the UK in the 1970s, a 2016 report in The Guardian states.

Despite detractors crying foul, the foundation has stood by its decision to award Modi, saying that the Indian Prime Minister will receive the award for the progress India is making in improving sanitation, as part of its drive toward the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Samaa reported.

The foundation noted that before the Swachh Bharat mission, over 500 million people in India did not have access to safe sanitation, "and now, the majority do. There is still a long way to go, but the impacts of access to sanitation in India are already being realized." It added that the mission can serve as a model for other countries around the world "that urgently needs to improve access to sanitation for the world's poorest." (ANI)

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