Anupam Kher landed into another controversy on Tuesday after claiming that he was 'denied' a visa to go to Pakistan. But the actor later changed his statement and said it was not denied but delayed.
CNN-IBN on Tuesday reported that Kher, who was slated to attend the Karachi Literature Festival, was denied a visa. Out of 18 people, 17 were granted a visa except him, the actor was quoted as saying.
However, within hours, he changed his statement and said that his visa application was 'delayed' and not denied. Kher posted a message on Twitter saying:
"Delay is the deadliest form of denial.":)
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) February 2, 2016
The statement came after sources from the Pakistan High Commission were quoted by CNN-IBN who said that Anupam Kher had not even applied for a visa and that he seemed to be 'unaware of the current process.'
JUST IN | Pak High Commission sources: Anupam Kher has not even applied for visa; Seems like he is unaware of current process
— CNN-IBN News (@ibnlive) February 2, 2016
Pakistan HC says "they have received no Visa application from Anupam Kher"
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 2, 2016
Kher has been at the forefront of a campaign in support of the BJP-led union government, amid a raging debate on the perception of increased religion tension and intolerance in the country. Last week, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the government, leading to questions over whether the honour was politically motivated. His wife Kirron Kher is a BJP member of Parliament (MP) from the constituency of Chandigarh.
Kher said that he was very saddened by the development as he was looking forward to participate in the festival and use the platform to dispel misunderstandings in the minds of people there.
As to why his visa has not been issued, the actor said, "I wish I knew. I am wondering if it is because I am a Kashmiri Pandit or because of my views on the tolerance debate in India."
With inputs from PTI