Lahore: Renowned poet and lyricist Gulzar today abruptly cut short a visit to Pakistan and returned to India, with film director Vishal Bhardwaj, who accompanied him, saying there were no political or security reasons behind the decision.

Officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad dismissed reports in the Pakistani media that Gulzar had been advised to return for security reasons, saying no one from the mission had been in touch with the poet who was on a private visit.

Bhardwaj, who accompanied Gulzar to Pakistan, said the poet had cut short his visit after being emotionally overcome by a visit to his ancestral village of Kalra near Deena in Punjab province.

"Gulzar sahab visited the grave of his mentor, an eminent poet named Ahmed Nadeem Qasimi. After that, he visited his birthplace at Deena after 70 years. He was emotionally overwhelmed and stressed and felt uncomfortable after returning to his hotel in Lahore," Bhardwaj told the media.

Gulzar and Bhardwaj had intended to record a 'qawwali' by Meher Ali and Sher Ali for the Indian film "Dedh Ishqiya". But Bhardwaj said the recording was cancelled and Gulzar's companions decided to take him back to India.

Some members of literary circles in Lahore claimed Gulzar had been advised to return to India due to security concerns in the wake of the hanging of Afzal Guru but officials of the Indian High Commission dismissed such reports.

Bhardwaj said he and Gulzar planned to visit Pakistan again as soon as the poet feels better.

Officials of the Indian High Commission told PTI Gulzar was on a private visit and no one from the mission was in touch with him to offer him advice.

Gulzar, who arrived in Pakistan yesterday with Bhardwaj and his wife Rekha Bhardwaj, was scheduled to participate in the Karachi Literary Festival later this week. Gulzar was to be one of the main speakers at the inaugural session of the three-day event.

His sudden departure saddened his fans, who took to Twitter and Facebook to express their feelings.


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