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Shahrukh’s cousins eager to meet him

July 26, 2005

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PESHAWAR, July 25: Cousins of Indian movie superstar Shahrukh Khan are eagerly awaiting his visit to his ancestral city Peshawar to meet the scion who has not only made a name in the cinema world but has become a personality the family is proud of.

“We are proud of Mr Khan who has become a celebrity in the cine world and are keenly waiting for his visit to Peshawar to meet him,” said Mansoor Ahmad, first cousin of Mr Khan, while talking to APP.

“Mr Khan also wishes to visit Peshawar and has conveyed a message to us that if he visited Pakistan even for a single day, he will come to his ancestral city,” said Mr Ahmed.

He said that Mr Khan loved Peshawar because he had roots here and liked to use things belonging to the city.

Mr Ahmed’s father Ghulam Mohammad alias Gama was the elder brother of Mr Khan’s father Taj Mohammad.

Mr Ahmed still lives in the house in the Shah Wali Qatal area near historic Qissa Khwani Bazaar in the interior city where Mr Khan’s father had lived before moving to Delhi.

Mr Ahmed said that his sister Noor Jehan visited India in 1997and stayed with Mr Khan for two and a half months.

“On reaching Mumbai, Mr Khan warmly received me and his response was very cordial,” recalled Noor Jehan. “During my stay, Shahrukh used to ask searching questions about his paternal family members.”

“I am proud of my cousin and have named my child after him,” she said and added: “Shahrukh has given us pride and recognition.

Mr Ahmed said that Mr Khan visited Peshawar twice, first in 1978 when he was a school boy and later in 1980. During his second visit, he stayed in Peshawar for about one month.

When asked if Mr Khan had already visited Peshawar, why they were keen to see him again in the city, Mr Ahmed said at that time he was a common man but now he had become a celebrity.

About the migration of Mr Khan’s father to India, Mr Ahmed said that he had left Peshawar for New Delhi in 1946 to complete his studies.

In 1943-44, he continued, when Mr Khan’s father was a school student, he and his brother were arrested and imprisoned for taking part in the Freedom Movement.

“After getting released, Taj Mohammad migrated to New Delhi for completing his studies but after doing LLB, he decided to settle there.”

Mr Ahmed said Mr Khan liked Peshawari Chappal and during his visit to Peshawar in 1980, he bought a pair and used it for about seven years.

Mr Ahmed said that the celebrity understood Hindko and loved to speak in his mother-tongue despite having been born away from Hindko speaking area. However, he could not speak the language fluently, he added.

He said that Shahrukh was the first in the trader family to enter the film industry. “But he was interested in acting from the very beginning and during his visit to Peshawar used to speak as if performing in a film.”