Pakistan denies Anupam Kher visa to attend Karachi lit fest


NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Tuesday denied a visa to actor and BJP sympathiser Anupam Kher, who has been invited by the organisers of a literary festival in Karachi as one of their guests.

Kher claims only he has been singled out of the 18 delegates who applied for the visa. "I am very sad and disappointed that out of 18 participants, 17 were given visa and I was denied," Kher told news agency ANI.

Reacting to reports, the Pakistan High Commission, however, has claimed Kher never submitted any application for the visa.

Kher is scheduled to attend a session at the Karachi literary festival on February 5. 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.

Last weekend, Kher and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor were involved in a war of words on Twitter over the veteran actor's comment that he is scared to openly say he is a Hindu.

Posting a link of Kher's recent TV interview, Tharoor tweeted, "Come on Anupam. I say it all the time. I'm a proud Hindu. Just not the Sangh's kind of Hindu. @AnupamPkher."

This did not go down well with the 60-year-old actor, who called Tharoor a "Congi Chamcha" (Congress stooge). "Come on Shashi. Never thought you will misinterpret my statement like trolls do. And behave like a Congi Chamcha."

Tharoor quickly retorted saying, "Abuse, @AnupamPkher , is what you use when you run out of arguments. I'm a proud MP of @INCIndia &I don't resort to insults. #CongiChamcha."

At the Jaipur literary festival held last month, the Bollywood actor had also sparred with Delhi minister Kapil Mishra over the limits imposed on freedom of speech and were joined in by a politically divided audience at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF).

Speaking against the motion at a session entitled 'Should Freedom of Speech be Absolute?' Kher alleged that a perception of intolerance was being created at festivals like the JLF, adding that there should not be an impression that people in the country are living in fear.

Source - toi

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