Anupam Kher denied visa by Pak because he is Kashmiri Pandit?

BJP MP Singh asks why people who raised voices in Ghulam Ali episode are silent

GN Staff | February 2, 2016


#anupam kher   #pakistan   #kashmir   #pandit   #jaipur lit festival  

Actor Anupam Kher, who was to attend the Karachi Literature Festival on February 5, has been denied visa by Pakistan. Kher tweeted that “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?”

However, the Pakistani high commission has refuted Kher's claim and said that they have received no visa application from the actor. The 60-year-old actor, who was awarded the Padma Bhushan recently, has been a vocal supporter of the BJP-led government at the Centre.

Kher said that he was very sad and disappointed that out of 18 participants, 17 were given a visa and he was denied. Actor Nandita Das, LGBT activist Laxmi Tripathi and journalist Barkha Dutt, stand up comic Sanjay Rajoura, author Alok Bhalla etc are scheduled to attend the lit fest.

The actor was denied a Pakistani visa in May 2015 as well, when he wanted to visit Pakistan to attend a literary festival in Lahore.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party’s MP and former home secretary RK Singh today said that the denial of the visa to Anupam Kher sends a contradictory signal on what Islamabad wants.

"I think this is very unfortunate and this also shows the mentality of some elements in Pakistan, and this also sends a contradictory signal. On the one hand, you say that you want normal relations with us (India), and on the other hand, you deny a visa to one of our leading artists," Singh said.

Singh asked, "I want to know where are those 'so called' intellectuals who were protesting when Ghulam Ali was not allowed to come. Where are their voices?" Singh further said that, "He (Anupam Kher) was raising voice on the right thing as Kashmiri pandit has become refugee in their own country.

"So, the issue he was raising was right. And to deny a visa on that account by Pakistan sends a wrong message on what Pakistan wants. You can look at it in connection with an incident where one of Kohli's fan was given 10 year jail. I mean what does Pakistan want? They should be clear about it," he added.

Speaking against a motion at a session entitled 'Should Freedom of Speech be Absolute?' at the Jaipur literary festival held last month, Kher alleged that a perception of intolerance was being created at festivals like the JLF.

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