Pakistan denies visa to Javed Akhtar | india | Hindustan Times
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Pakistan denies visa to Javed Akhtar

india Updated: Jun 23, 2006 19:44 IST
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Lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar has been denied a visa by Pakistan to visit Karachi where he was scheduled to be a part of a star-studded delegation attending the premiere of Mughal E Azam, K Asif's magnum opus.

"I learnt yesterday afternoon that out of the 25-member delegation that was to visit Karachi tomorrow for the premiere of Mugha-E-Azam, I was the only one to have been denied a visa. I am quite surprised at this," Akhtar said in Mumbai.

"I don't understand what kind of a threat I can pose to that country. In fact, we were going for a very noble cause, where a day after the premiere, we were scheduled to participate in a telecom to raise funds for earthquake victims," Akhtar added.

Major Bollywood stars such as Saif Ali Khan, Urmila Matondkar, Akhtar's wife and actress Shabana Azmi, Zeenat Aman and Sridevi were supposed to attend the event, Akhtar said adding the organisers had now decided to postpone the premiere.

"After hearing that I have been denied a visa, the organiser Akbar Asif, who is K Asif's son, called a press conference in Karachi and announced that he was postponing the event until I am granted a visa. I suppose it is now as good as cancelled," Akhtar said.

Asked if he was hurt at not getting the visa, the lyricist said, "I am, in fact, quite amused at it. I feel they have given me too much importance. The only thing that comes to mind is that I have been too frank for their comfort on sensitive issues and in a society where there is no tradition of having opposition, this is bound to happen."

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