Mumbai: Pakistan former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Tuesday said that screen icon Dilip Kumar had visited Pakistan twice on secret missions for the Indian government.
“Kumar's wife Saira Banu told me that Dilip Saahab had been twice on secret missions to Pakistan. He was flown to Islamabad by the Indian government in special aircraft. I believe one of the visits took place during the Zia ul Haq period. The other was more recent.” Kasuri was quoted saying to Pakistan's leading English daily.
Kasuri, who met Kumar at the latter's residence in suburban Bandra last evening, said he had deliberately chosen to visit Jinnah House, Mani Bhavan and Kumar's residence as the three figures were icons for both the countries.
The Pakistani politician, who served as Foreign Minister from 2002 to 2007 also described Kumar, Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah as apostles of peace.
He said that he visited Mani Bhavan to meet followers of Gandhi.
“Gandhi's indefinite fast to get Pakistan its monetary dues from India is not known in Pakistan,” he added.
Kasuri also visited Jinnah house but expressed his disappointment over disuse and disrepair of the House.
He said The Quaid (Jinnah) too was only known as a negative character in India.
“His secular credentials enshrined in his address to the new nation are hardly known here.”
Earlier, Kasuri has claimed that Dilip Kumar had urged the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif to put an end to Kargil War in 1999. The incident took place when Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were in between a conversation and suddenly, a call from Dilip Kumar came as a surprise.
Sharif was astonished to hear the voice of Dilip Kumar (earlier Yusuf Khan), who was originally from Peshawar tell him: ‘Mian Sahib, we did not expect this from you since you have always claimed to be a great supporter of peace between Pakistan and India. Let me tell you as an Indian Muslim, that in case of tension between Pakistan and India, the position of Indian Muslims becomes very insecure and they find it difficult to even leave their homes. Please do something to control this situation.” the book said.
Kasuri also presented his book 'Neither a Hawk nor a Dove: An Insider's Account of Pakistan's Foreign Policy', to Kumar which was launched in Mumbai on Monday.