Punjabi actor-singer Gippy Grewal was barred from entering Pakistan through the Wagah border as the Indian immigration authorities reportedly stopped him at Atari checkpost, Pakistani media reported.
According to sources in the Evacuee Propriety Trust Board, arrangements were in place to receive the singer at the border as he was scheduled to visit Kartarpur, Dawn news said in a report.
“He was to move to Kartarpur (Narowal) at 9.30 a.m. (on Friday) and return to Lahore by 3.30 p.m. Later, Gippy was scheduled to attend a reception at Governor House. On January 29, he was to visit Nankana Sahib before his return to India,” an ETPB official told Dawn.
According to another source, Grewal was to enter Pakistan through Wagah border on a two-day visit with some six or seven other people but he was stopped at the Atari checkpost, the report said.
“He was also to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Lahore and then he had meetings at the Governor House. The next day he was supposed to leave for Nankana Sahib to pay respects at the Sikh religious site,” he explained.
Sources said Grewal had a long schedule of meetings in Pakistan, including with film people, at the Governor House to discuss joint film ventures between the two sides, Dawn news reported.
They said last time when Grewal visited Kartarpur, he mingled with people and showed great enthusiasm, warmth and love for Pakistanis and the places he visited.
His visit was given ample coverage in the Pakistani media, the report added.
Grewal is a popular figure in Pakistan, especially with Punjabi film audience, and internationally too, his films, such as ‘Carry on Jutta’ and ‘Lucky Di Unlucky Story’ topped popularity charts.
The film and theatre fraternity in Pakistan condemned the Indian authorities for stopping Grewal, Dawn reported.
Comedian Iftikhar Thakur said artistes always bridge up between nations.
“It is so sad that Grewal was stopped like this from entering Pakistan,” he said.