Vinod Khanna wanted to visit his ancestral home in Peshawar, but the Bollywood star could not fulfill his wish, according to a Pakistani cultural official. Khanna passed away at a hospital in Mumbai yesterday. He was 70. Shakeel Waheedullah, General Secretary Cultural Heritage Council Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who met Khanna in 2014 in India as part of a cultural delegation, said, “In his autograph, Khanna extended his good wishes to people of Peshawar and expressed a desire to visit his ancestral city.”
“Khanna wanted to visit Peshawar to see the area where his parents and forefathers lived. He had sent a request for his visit to Pakistan, but could not succeed,” Waheedullah added. He said the Cultural Heritage Council Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will soon hold an event to honour Khanna. Renowned film historian Muhammad Ibrahim Zia was also a part of the delegation that met Khanna and legendary actor Dilip Kumar, who also belongs to Peshawar.
Zia said Khanna’s ancestral home in Peshawar is intact and being used by All Pakistan Women’s Association. “During our meeting with Khanna, he was very happy over his reunion with the people of his birth place Peshawar,” Zia said. The delegation presented
Khanna gifts including Peshawar Chappal (footwear) and a traditional dress which he accepted happily, Zia said. The historian said Khanna’s father Mehr Chand was a well-off person in Peshawar and migrated to India in 1947 when Khanna was an infant. “Khanna was born in Peshawar on October 6, 1946 at Sardar area in Cantonment jurisdiction. His father Mehr Chand Khanna was a prominent businessman and former Minister in Congress,” said Zia, who has authored a book, ‘Peshawar the Funkar’, on the artistes from the city.
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