Anupam Kher says Pakistan government told Karachi Literature Festival officials to not invite him
The actor said the event's organiser had applied for a visa on his behalf, after the Pakistan High Commission claimed he had not applied for one.
Actor Anupam Kher said on Tuesday that Pakistani government officials had told organisers of the Karachi Literature Fest to not invite him for the event. Speaking at a press conference, he said the event's organisers had applied for the visa on his behalf, following which director Ameena Saiyid, with whom he had been corresponding, was told to not invite him.
"I'm not angry with anybody. I'm hurt and upset, and want to know why among 18 people, I was singled out," Kher said, adding that he was looking forward to visit Pakistan after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to Lahore in December. Earlier, the Pakistan High Commission had said Kher had not applied for a visa, hours after he claimed that Pakistan had denied him one, reported India Today. The festival is scheduled to be held on February 5.
Actor Nandita Das told Scroll.in that she was most disappointed when she found out that Kher was denied a visa, but when she spoke to the Pakistan high Commission, she was told that Kher did not apply for a visa to enter the country. "They said that without any paperwork, they cannot process a visa, which to me sounded perfectly logical." Das added that it was sad that Twitter had become a reliable and objective source of information, and that such incidents only added to perceptions of animosity between the two countries.
The 60-year-old Kher, who is a vocal supporter of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre, was recently awarded Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the Indian film industry. His wife Kirron Kher, who is also a veteran Bollywood actor, is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.