Pak-origin singer-actor Salma Agha requests for OCI status

Yesteryear singer-actress Salma Agha, a Pakistan origin British national best known for her 1982 film ‘Nikaah’, has applied for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. Her application comes soon after Pakistani-origin singer Adnan Sami was granted Indian citizenship in January this year.

The British singer-actor’s request has put the Ministry of Home Affairs in a dilemma as the OCI status is prohibited for a person whose parents, grandparents or great grandparents, is or had been a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

However, Salman has argued she has Indian links that make her eligible. In her application, Salma is understood to have referred to her Indian roots in her maternal grandfather Jugal Kishore Mehra, a noted actor, and his wife and Salma’s grandmother, Anwari Begum, a star singer in the 1930s and ‘40s. Salma’s mother Nasreen Aagha was also an actress and was cast opposite K L Saigal in ‘Shahjehan’ (1946). In her request, Salma has claimed that though she was born in Pakistan, she is a British citizen and hence, her request should be looked into.

“She has made a formal application in this regard. She claims that despite being born in Pakistan she was never a citizen of that country. We are looking into her application,” a senior home ministry official was quoted as saying.

The OCI card allows its holder multiple entry, multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India and exemption from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay in the country.

Salma plans to open a music school in Lucknow. Her daughter Sasha Agha made her debut in the Bollywood film Aurangzeb in 2013 and later acted in Desi Kattey (2014).