Peshawar
According to a leading heritage expert here in Northwest Pakistan, all ancestral homes of famous Indian artists who left Pakistan at the time of Partition should be preserved and converted into tourist destinations. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government last week approved the purchase of ancestral homes of Bollywood stalwarts Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor in the provincial capital here.

Commenting on the developments, Shakeel Wahidullah, Secretary, Council for Cultural Heritage, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said that the activists struggled for 13 years to ensure that the homes of these silver screen giants are preserved. Waheedullah said that nationality does not matter and such houses can be turned into tourist attractions in Pakistan.

Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home, called Kapoor Haveli, is located in Qissa Khwani Bazaar. It was built between 1918 and 1922 by the great actor’s grandfather Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor. Raj Kapoor and his uncle Trilok Kapoor were born here. It has been declared a national heritage by the provincial government.

Rishi Kapoor wanted to go to Pakistan once before he died
Actor Dilip Kumar’s 100-year-old ancestral house is also located in this area. The house is in a dilapidated condition and was declared a national heritage in 2014 by the then Nawaz Sharif government. The provincial government has released Rs 2.30 crore for the purchase of two buildings.

Waheedullah said that there are many more Indian stars in Peshawar who have ancestral homes in Peshawar including Shah Rukh Khan, Madhu Bala, Saira Banu, Vinod Khanna, Anil Kapoor, Amjad Khan, Manoj Kumar and Randhir Kapoor. He said the Cultural Heritage Council would invite the families of these actors who live in Pakistan to attend an event organized in Peshawar to promote tourism.

He said that the ancestral homes of legendary actress Madhu Bala and actor Shah Rukh Khan’s father should be renovated.

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