Lahore, Feb. 13 (PTI): Lyricist Gulzar today abruptly cut short a visit to Pakistan with director Vishal Bhardwaj amid a buzz that security reasons tied to Afzal Guru’s hanging prompted their return.
Bhardwaj denied political or security reasons and said Gulzar, 83, was “emotionally overwhelmed and stressed” after a trip to his ancestral village in Punjab province.
Officials of the Indian high commission denied Pakistani media reports suggesting Gulzar had been advised to return on security grounds, saying no one from the mission had been in touch with the lyricist as he was on a private visit.
Gulzar and Bhardwaj had planned to record a qawwali for the director’s upcoming film Dedh Ishqiya. The recording has been cancelled.
Gulzar was scheduled to attend the Karachi Literary Festival later this week. Some in Lahore’s literary circles also hinted at security concerns in the wake of Afzal’s hanging.
But Bhardwaj said: “Gulzar sahab visited his birthplace at Deena after 70 years. He was emotionally stressed and felt uncomfortable.”