Following outcry over Anupam Kher being denied a visa by Islamabad, Pakistan finally complied by offering him a visa to Karachi but the actor has turned down the offer.
“Thank you Mr. @abasitpak1 for your call & offering me visa to visit Karachi. I appreciate it. Unfortunately I’ve given away those dates now” Kher tweeted.
Actor Anupam Kher, who was supposed to attend the Karachi literary festival, was denied visa by the Pakistan government, reasons being that actor didn’t even apply for visa.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, clarified stating that Kher did not submit his documents like other participants, which is why he was denied the visa to attend the Karachi Literature Festival.
“I know Anupam Kher sahab. He is a great artist and we have great respect for him. But as it is universal practice, visa request is processed when visa application is received, not on the basis of an invitation letter from a visiting country,” Basit said.
“We wish that his office had submitted his visa documents as other participants did and got their visa on time. No visa application was submitted to us,” he added.
However, Kher flatly refused the claims and said that the Pakistan High Commission was lying.
“I am not angry with anybody, I am hurt and upset and somewhere feeling wanting to know the reason that out of 18 people why only me has been singled out not to go” he said at an exclusive press conference here in Mumbai.
“I am not angry with anyone. I am hurt and saddened…the organizer of the Karachi lit fest said that the government officials told her not to invite Anupam Kher. I don’t know why? I would request the Government of India to take up this matter (with Pakistan),” Kher told the media.
Aunpam Kher, however is hurt and upset with the whole fiasco, has given up on the idea of cultural exchange.
The actor was denied a Pakistani visa in May 2015 as well, when he wanted to visit the country to attend a literary festival in Lahore.