Pakistan’s high commissioner Abdul Basit on Wednesday called up Anupam Kher to offer him a visa for visiting Karachi but the actor turned it down saying he had already taken up other assignments on the scheduled dates.
Thank you Mr. @abasitpak1 for your call & offering me visa to visit Karachi. I appreciate it. Unfortunately i've given away those dates now.— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) February 3, 2016
Kher’s tweet comes a day after he accused Islamabad of scuttling his trip to attend the Karachi Literature Festival.
The actor was among 18 Indians invited to the festival scheduled to be held on February 5 to 7.
On Tuesday night, Pakistan high commission officials had said that if Kher were to apply for a visa on Wednesday, he would get the travel document within hours.
The high commissioner also refuted the actor’s allegations that his country’s interior ministry refused Kher a no-objection certificate.
“Sorry Sir I don’t know who told you about this so-called NoC, we are still to receive your visa application and passport,” Basit said in a tweet late on Tuesday night.
He was responding to an earlier tweet by actor where he said, “Reality remains that Pak Interior Ministry refused to grant NOC for my visa. 17 others invited also didn’t apply for visa.”
Kher had said on Tuesday that Pakistani authorities’ denial of a visa may have been prompted by his stand on the issue of Kashmiri Pandits and his support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
His comments sparked a storm on social media which recently became a battlefield for another controversy involving the actor after he told a senior journalist during an interview that he was scared to say he is a Hindu.
The other 17 Indian participants to the event in Karachi who have been given the travel document include senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid and actor Nandita Das.
Responding to the incident, union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said Pakistan has a right to grant or refuse visa to an individual.
In May last year, Kher was denied a visa to Pakistan, reportedly on security grounds, when he was due to visit Lahore for an event organised by an NGO.