Islamabad: Pakistani authorities have put on hold their plans to acquire Bollywood icon Dilip Kumar's ancestral home in Peshawar and preserve it as a national heritage site after several persons laid claim to the property.
The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province still intends to acquire the house but has adopted a "wait and watch" policy after several persons claimed the property on learning that authorities were willing to pay a sizeable amount for it, a provincial government official said today.
"The plan has not been abandoned but we are weighing our options as a lot of people are claiming they own the house simply in the hope of getting a portion of the money that will be paid by the government," the official, who did not want to be named, told PTI over the phone from Peshawar.
Provincial Culture Director Pervez Khan was quoted by Dawn newspaper as saying that authorities had decided not to go ahead with buying the house after more than one person laid claim on the ownership of the property. "Now there are legal complications and till the time the rightful owner is not known, the directorate would not go ahead with the plan," he said.
Ikramullah Khan, the current owner of the property who uses the rundown building to store goods he sells at a nearby hosiery store, told PTI that he was still holding discussions with the government though nothing had been finalised.
"I am still talking to the government. I have documents to prove I bought the property," Khan said. Once the provincial government said it would pay Rs 30
million for Dilip Kumar's home, several persons emerged to claim ownership of the property. Ikramullah Khan claimed he had bought the house six years ago for Rs 5.1 million and that he had legal documents for the sale.