A Pakistani court here has asked the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtukhwa to clarify its stance regarding declaring an ancestral house of legendary actor Dilip Kumar as national heritage after a man claimed that the property belonged to him.
The Peshawar High Court yesterday summoned the secretary of the provincial culture and archaeology department to appear before it and explain if the government was still interested in acquiring the house.
The court comprising Justice Nisar Hussain and Justice Rohul Amin was hearing the writ petition filed by local trader Lal Muhammad through his counsel Shahnawaz Khan.
The petitioner in his writ argued the house being affiliated with Kumar in Chowk Nasir Khan was his property. He claimed that the property was purchased by his father.
He said while there was one claim that Kumar had spent his childhood days in the house, it was contrary to facts on record as he was born in 1922 and his father had purchased the said property in 1943.
The lawyer said the house in question could not be called Kumar's ancestral property as his father had sold it out within three days of purchase.
The petitioner requested the court to direct the government to cancel the acquisition and release the property to the petitioner for his use, sale, transfer, reconstruction and development.
The 92-year-old actor, who was born as Yousuf Khan in Peshawar in 1922, is enormously loved in both India and Pakistan and for years there have been requests in Pakistan for salvaging his ancestral home.
The Bollywood actor, also known as 'Tragedy King' was conferred Pak's highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) in 1998.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had last year declared Dilip's house a 'national heritage,' that can promote close cultural relations between India and Pakistan.