Recently Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, called up Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, and offered him a visa to travel to Karachi city of Pakistan. However, Mr. Kher, declined the offer, saying he already taken up other assignments on the possible dates.
Annupam Kher tweeted:
Thank you Mr. @abasitpak1 for your call & offering me visa to visit Karachi. I appreciate it. Unfortunately i’ve given away those dates now.
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) February 3, 2016
The 60-year-old veteran actor, who has been quite vocal in defending the nation over the ongoing intolerance debate, was scheduled to attend the upcoming Karachi Literature Festival for a live chat session, this coming on Sunday (7th Feb), but the actor was denied visa to enter in Pakistan reportedly.
During a recently held Mumbai press conference, Mr. Kher retaliated that other 17 invitees to the Karachi literature festival, including senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid and actores Nandita Das, had been granted visa but he has been denied a Pakistani visa for the third time. He said:
“I am not angry, I am hurt, upset and somewhere wanting to know the reason. Out of 18 why only I was 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,”
“Indian govt. welcomes Pakistan-based writers, artists, actors etc. Pakistan govt. bans entry of Indian actors. Why fear a free dialogue?”
Mr. Kher told that he was informed that the Pakistan foreign ministry had denied permission for his visa. However, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit tweeted to him that he had never received any application.
@AnupamPkher sorry Sir I don’t know who told you about this so-called NoC, we are still to receive your visa application and passport
— Abdul Basit (@abasitpak1) February 2, 2016
Anupam kher replied in a tweet :
Dear @abasitpak1, Reality remains that Pak Interior Ministry refused to grant NOC for my visa. 17 others invited also didn’t apply for visa.
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) February 2, 2016