MUMBAI: Noted singer Adnan Sami, who is of Pakistani descent, was on Friday granted the certificate of Indian citizenship from Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju here. Describing it as his "new birth", he has thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for making him an Indian citizen officially.
Sami, who was born in Britain and was earlier a Canadian citizen, received Indian citizenship a day after renowned Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was deported from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad on Thursday due to technical flaws.
As per reports, Rahat came to India from Abu Dhabi to perform at a New Year's eve event at the Taj Falaknuma Palace. However, immigration authority didn't allow Rahat to enter the city as they stated that the legal ports for Pakistani nationals to enter India are Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
An elated Sami, who is in India with his wife Roya Faryabi, later took to Twitter to express gratitude to the Indian government.
“A new beginning. A new feeling. A new belonging. A new love affair. A new country. Jai Hind,” Sami wrote.
He also tweeted a photograph of himself while receiving the certificate from Rijiju. “Receiving my Indian Citizenship Certificate of Naturalisation from MOS Home Affairs @KirenRijiju ji. Huge Thanks,” he captioned the image.
In the image, the 42-year-old can be seen donning a black bandhgala, while Faryabi can be seen in a white ensemble.
Faryabi is Sami's third wife. He was previously married to Pakistani actress Zeba Bakhtiar and Dubai-based Arab Sabah Galadari.
Sami, who was granted the Indian citizenship after he made a representation to the home ministry on May 26 requesting for it on humanitarian grounds, later thanked Modi and Rajnath Singh for helping him out in getting the Indian citizenship.
He wrote: “My profound thanks to honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi ji for approving my Indian citizenship. A new birth. I'm highly indebted to the Honourable Home Minister @BJPRajnathSingh ji for his tremendous support in granting me Indian citizenship.”
He has been living in India on visa since March 2001. He was last given a visa extension in October last year.
Best known for his songs like "Kabhi to nazar milao" and "Lift karaa de" in India, Sami is mostly known for playing a variety of musical instruments and has always maintained that the love he has received from Indians is "everything" for him.
His last Bollywood song "Bhar do jholi" featured in superstar Salman Khan's 2015 blockbuster "Bajrangi Bhaijaan".
Sami is not the only person from across the border to get Indian citizenship. The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has reportedly granted Indian citizenship to Afsheen Murtuza, a Karachi resident, who got married to an Indian named Murtuza Khan in 1994.