New Delhi: Veteran actor Anupam Kher yesterday claimed he was denied a Pakistani visa for the second time, and described it as 'sad'. Kher was to attend the Karachi Literature Festival, which begins on Friday. While 17 out of the 18 Indians received their visas, the 60-year-old actor said he was ‘singled out’. He, however, clarified that it was the festival organisers who were supposed to secure his visa.

Anupam Kher addresses media persons at a press conference in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/Pti
Anupam Kher addresses media persons at a press conference in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/PTI

"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 second time in a year, while around 17 people will participate in the Karachi Literature Festival as guests," Kher tweeted.

Addressing the media persons in Mumbai, Kher said, "I would request the Government of India to take up this matter (with Pakistan)."

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.

Speaking to media, Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) organisers said they were unaware of the reasons for rejection of visa to the actor. KLF spokesperson Ameena Syed said they had been advised by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to tell Kher not to submit a visa application as he (Kher) could 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," she said.

Rebuttal
The Pakistani High Commission in Delhi, however, yesterday refuted allegations levelled by Kher and said the actor never applied for any visa.

Manzoor Ali Memon, a diplomat from the Pakistan High Commission, said, "He (Anupam Kher) has not submitted (any) visa application. Please check out from him if he has any receipt."