Visa Row: Pakistani singer Adnan Sami wins battle; Bollywood relieved

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Mumbai, Oct 17: Pakistani singer Adnan Sami seems to have won a battle against Mumbai Police and other political parties who have been demanding not to extend his visa. But to a great relief Adnan’s fans, visa of the singer-composer has been extended for 3 months.

Sami earlier had clarified his stand over the controversy. Breaking his silence, the singer issued an official statement regarding legal notice sent by Mumbai Police.

Sami on Tuesday, Oct 15 said, “This is to inform all concerned that my visa did expire on Oct 6, 2013. As per standard rules, I had made an application for extension of my visa to the concerned department of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi on Sep 14, 2013.”

The singer also added, “This is a standard procedure that is followed by all foreigners and I have been following it for the past 14 years. Hence this year is no different. Until the visa extension is granted, I have to be in India as I cannot leave.”

Speaking about Mumbai Police and its involvement in visa case, Sami added, “The Mumbai Police is very much aware of my situation… The important part is that I have followed procedure as per routine since I respect all procedures, and have followed them throughout my 14 years of residence in India and will always continue to do so as a law abiding citizen.”

Issuing a notice to Sami, Mumbai Police earlier had asked the singer to clarify the reason(s) for overstaying in India. The singer-composer has been given 30 days of time by the Mumbai police to regularise his visa.

Recently, Raj Thackeray-led MNS’s film wing — Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena (MNCKS) had asked Adnan to leave the country. MNCKS had claimed that Adnan was illegally staying in the country after his visa expired. The MNCKS even demanded the authorities concerned not to grant him an extension on the visa.

Official of MNCKS was quoted as saying, “We have asked the authorities to not allow the extension. We hope they pay heed to what we have said.”

“We have a lot of talented artists of our own; we do not need a Pakistani to come and sing here. Besides, whatever money he earns here, he probably sends to Pakistan, and that country will be using the same money against us. So he has to leave the country,” he added.

Controversy over Adnan’s visa popped up following his statement before a family court where the singer had stated that he had a Pakistani passport and was residing in India on the basis of visa granted to him from time to time. Sami also claimed that his visa was valid from Sept 26, 2012 till Oct 6, 2013.

Here it can be recalled that Adnan is entangled in a legal battle with his ex wife Sabah Galadari over the possession of a duplex flat in Lokhandwala Complex.

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