From Friday, Bollywood singer Adnan Sami would be able to sing and perform as an Indian citizen, after facing years of protests and opposition for being a Pakistani performing in India.
Union home ministry has finally cleared his Indian citizenship which would be effective from January 1.
Sami had renounced in his Pakistani citizenship, a move not appreciated in the neighbouring country and with his Indian citizenship in limbo, the singer became a stateless person. But Sami said later he had found a home in India.
He also faced attacks from fellow Bollywood singers and fringe Hindutva elements for being a Pakistani as well.
Lahore-born Sami had first arrived in India on March 13, 2001 on a visitor’s visa with the validity of one year which was issued by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. Songs like ‘Kabhi toh nazar milao’ and’ lift kara de’ made Sami household name in India.
His visa was extended from time to time. His Pakistani passport issued on May 27, 2010 expired on May 26, 2015 and his passport was not renewed by the Pakistan government which led him to approach the Indian government with the request to legalise his stay in India on humanitarian grounds.
Earlier this year, the ministry had allowed Sami to stay in India for indefinite period and he was exempted from deportation proceedings.
The ministry also sought legal opinion from the Attorney General as there was matrimonial civil case pending against Sami. After the favourbale opinion from the AG, the ministry cleared his citizenship.