With the return of Indian poet Gulzar and film director Vishal Bhardwaj putting the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) under a cloud, the city’s premier literary event was dealt another blow late on Wednesday when author Shobhaa De was forced to cancel.
The KLF organisers tweeted from their account:
“Shobhaa De cancelled because she said her visa was issued too late. She'd like to attend #KLF next year and we hope very much that she does”
The Mumbai-born writer tweeted from her own account late on Wednesday that the delay in her visa was the main cause for her decision. Though, she gave into some conspiracy talk speculating whether the visa was deliberately delayed.
“Pakistani visa was too late! Gulzar had his reasons for not attending the KLF. I was so looking forward to it. Someone didn't want me there?”
Earlier in the day, Gulzar and Bhardwaj returned to India apparently over security fears.
Last month, Pakistani diplomats were unable to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival when they were not given the required travel permissions to attend the event.