Gulzar cuts short Pak visit

Poet and lyricist Gulzar on Wednesday abruptly cut short a visit to Pakistan and returned to India, with film director Vishal Bhardwaj, who accompanied him, saying there were no political or security reasons behind the decision.

Officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad dismissed reports in the Pakistani media that Gulzar had been advised to return for security reasons, saying no one from the mission had been in touch with the poet who was on a private visit.

Bhardwaj, who accompanied Gulzar to Pakistan, said the poet had cut short his visit after being emotionally overcome by a visit to his ancestral village of Kalra near Deena in Punjab province.

“Gulzar sahab visited the grave of his mentor, an eminent poet named Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi. After that, he visited his birthplace at Deena after 70 years. He was emotionally overwhelmed and stressed and felt uncomfortable after returning to his hotel in Lahore,”  Bhardwaj told the media. Gulzar and Bhardwaj had intended to record a “qawwali” by Meher Ali and Sher Ali for the film “Dedh Ishqiya.”

 Some members of literary circles in Lahore claimed Gulzar had been advised to return to India due to security concerns in the wake of the hanging of Afzal Guru but officials of the Indian High Commission dismissed the reports.

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