Gulzar arrived in Pakistan a day ago and went to his hometown Dena in Jehlum district. But the Indian high commission apparently called him back and asked him to leave because situation in Pakistan was not suitable for him. The situation, which had been vitiated after the killing of soldiers on the border was limping back to some kind of reconciliation when the hanging of Afzal Guru took place last week in New Delhi.
Gulzar was born in a Kalra Arora Sikh family and his real name is Sampooran Singh Kalra. The 83-year-old poet has lot of admirers in Pakistan and visits that country regularly. Gulzar was in Lahore to be present at the recording of a 'qawwali' for an Indian film "Dehd Ishqiya". The song is to be sung by Meher Ali and Sher Ali. Gulzar was accompanied by 'Dehd Ishqiya' producer Vishal Bhardwaj and his wife Rekha, Pakistani film director Shahzad Rafiq and producer Ayub Khawar.
Gulzar was on a one-week visit to Pakistan and arrive in Karachi from Lahore today to participate in several programs including Karachi Literary festival. The festival will be attended by more than 200 literary luminaries from Pakistan and overseas and British-Pakistani novelist Nadeem Aslam and Gulzar were the keynote speakers at the inaugural session of the festival.
Meanwhile, First Secretary Press and Information of Indian High Commission Janardan Singh has told local media that Gulzar's visit was private and they were not aware of his itinerary. He refuted media reports which suggested that Gulzar was sent back to India by the high commission.