Pakistan denies visa to Anupam Kher for second time in a year

Pakistan denies visa to Anupam Kher for second time in a year
For the second time in a year, Pakistan has denied Actor Anupam Kher a visa to travel to the neighbouring country, this time to attend the 6th edition of the Karachi Literature Festival.

“Have been informed that Pakistan has denied permission for my visa...Sad to have been denied visa on second time in a year... Has my visa been denied because I speak about India’s rich tradition of tolerance or I am a Kashmiri Pandit who may expose Pak terror nexus? India welcomes Pakistan-based writers, artistes, actors etc., Pakistan govt bans entry of Indian actors. Why fear a free dialogue?” said Kher in a series of tweets.

“I am not angry on anyone...I would request the government to take this up and continue the peace process with Pakistan,” said 60-year-old Kher, who was  conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2016. Asked whether he would go to Pakistan if granted visa, he said: “This time it is no….next time if there is (an invitation) I will…but I would ask (the organisers) to send the visa in advance.”

The organisers of the annual Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), however, said they are unaware of the reasons for rejection.

KLF spokesperson Ameena Syed told PTI that they were advised by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to tell Kher not to submit a visa application as he would not be issued one.

“That is all we have been told. They told us that the remaining 17 guests invited from India should be asked to submit applications as they would be issued visas,” said Ameena. Kher was among the 18 Indians invited to the four-day event but he is the only one who has been denied the visa.

The other 17 Indian participants who have been granted travel documents includes senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid and actor Nandita Das.

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