Remembering Vinod Khanna as a proud Peshawari, people from his birth place in Pakistan paid tributes to the veteran Bollywood actor on Thursday. They said that the Cultural Heritage Council will organise an event in his honour.
“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,” renowned film historian in Peshawar Muhammad Ibrahim Zia said.
Zia is also the author of Peshawar the Funkar (Artists of Peshawar), highlighting the actors who belonged to Peshawar and worked in different film industries in the past 100 years.
Zia said he met Khanna in 2014 during a visit to India as part of a delegation to meet legendary actor Dilip Kumar who also belonged to Peshawar.
“During our meeting with Khanna, he was very happy over reunion with people of his birth place Peshawar,” Zia said.
Khanna’s father Mehr Chand migrated to India in 1947 when the actor was an infant.
In late 1990s during a function in Dubai, Khanna “proudly announced on stage that he is a Peshawari”, Zia said, adding that his ancestral home in Peshawar is intact and being used by All Pakistan Womens’ Association.
During the meeting with Khanna, the delegation presented him gifts, including Peshawar Chappali (footwear) and traditional dress, which he accepted happily. Zia said he also presented a copy of his book to the star.
“In his autograph, Khanna extended his good wishes to people of Peshawar and expressed the desire of visiting his ancestral city. He was also in the delegation which met Khanna in 2014. 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,” said Shakeel Waheedullah, General Secretary of the Cultural Heritage Council Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Shakeel said the Cultural Heritage Council Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will soon hold an event in honour of Khanna.
The veteran Bollywood actor passed away at a hospital in Mumbai on Thursday morning. He was admitted to Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital where he breathed his last at 11.20 AM due to advanced bladder carcinoma.