Actor Anupam Kher, who grabbed headlines on Tuesday after being denied visa by Pakistan for his visit to Karachi for a literature festival, has said that he was not angry but hurt by the decision.
“I am not angry at anyone, I am hurt and saddened,” Kher told a news conference.
A Pakistani diplomat had said earlier that Kher had not submitted any visa application.
“I did not personally ask for a visa, the organisers of the Karachi Literature Festival did,” Kher clarified.
“For last 15 days, all my visa documents are ready,” he said. “The organiser of the Karachi lit fest said that (Pakistan) government officials told her ‘don’t invite Anupam Kher’. I don’t know why,” the actor added.
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?— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) February 2, 2016
“Have been informed that Pakistan MoFA has denied permission for my visa to participate in the Karachi Literature festival. Sad to have been denied visa on second time in a year, while around 17 people will participate in the Karachi Literature Festival as guests,” Anupam had tweeted earlier.
This is the second occasion when Kher has been denied visa to Pakistan. In May last year, he faced the similar situation when he was to visit Lahore for an event. However, he was reportedly denied visa to Pakistan back then due to security reasons.
Kher tweeted: “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? Indian government welcomes Pakistan based writers, artists, actors etc. Pakistan government bans entry of Indian actors. Why fear a free dialogue,” he tweeted.
He said he felt “bad for all those people who were looking forward to meet me in Pakistan and vice versa”.
“I was probably the only actor from Bollywood who wrote an open letter condemning attack on Peshawar school,” the actor said at the news conference.