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Anupam Kher denied Pak visa

Actor Anupam Kher found himself in the middle of yet another controversy on Tuesday when he announced that Pakistan had denied him a visa to attend the Karachi Literature Festival beginning Friday.

However, the Pakistan High Commission said the actor had never applied for one.

Mr. Kher was one of the 18 Indians invited to the four-day literary event. The 17 others, including senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid and actor Nandita Das, have been granted visa.

Mr. Kher, who is among the Padma Bhushan recipients this year, said he was “sad and disappointed.”

“We welcome Pakistan’s artistes in India. Even if there are objections to their performance at one place in India, they are welcome at other places. But it is not reciprocated [by Pakistan],” he said.

“I am not angry, I am hurt, upset. Of the 18, why was I singled out? It could be either because I am a Kashmiri Pandit. I am not playing a card of Kashmiri Pandit and trying to divide people, or because I’ve spoken about the issue of intolerance, taken a stand and have applauded my PM. Otherwise, there is no logical reason why the visa was denied to me. This has happened for the third time,” he told presspersons at his acting school here on Tuesday evening.

The issue also took the social media by storm with Mr. Kher posting the invitation dated Oct 30, 2015 from KLF director Ameena Saiyid.

Ms. Saiyid told reporters in Karachi that they were advised by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to inform Mr. Kher not to submit a visa application as he would not be issued one. “They told us that the remaining 17 guests invited from India should be asked to submit applications as they would be issued visas,” she said.

Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said:. “No visa application was submitted to us, this is what the reality is.”

Mr. Kher tweeted: “Dear @abasitpak1, Reality remains that Pak Interior Ministry refused to grant NOC for my visa. 17 others invited also didn’t apply for visa.”

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 7:16:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistan-denies-visa-to-anupam-kher/article8182743.ece

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