Mumbai: In the New Year, noted singer Adnan Sami will become an Indian citizen. He says it's a "New Year gift".
Home ministry officials on Thursday said Sami will be granted citizenship on Friday. The Indian citizenship was granted after he made a representation to the home ministry on May 26 requesting for it on humanitarian grounds.
"This is the New Year gift for me. I am thankful to the Indian government. I am very happy today," Sami, who is of Pakistani origin, told reporters here.
Born in Britain and hitherto a Canadian citizen, Sami has been living in India on visa since March 2001. He was last given a visa extension in October this year.
The singer, who became a sensation in the country with hit songs like "Kabhi to nazar milao" and "Lift karaa de", spoke to the media before leaving for Mumbai airport to catch a flight to the capital on Thursday.
Sami, who is known for playing a variety of musical instruments and is a known name for his distinct voice, has always maintained that the love he has received from Indian citizens is "everything" for him.
"When my first album came out, it wasn't Bollywood. The love that I received from people was everything and it still is everything for me. After 16 years, it is not just the land where I work, but also my home and my love," Sami, who has sung in Bollywood movies and even for albums, had said at a conclave here earlier this year.
His last Bollywood track was "Bhar do jholi", which featured in Salman Khan's blockbuster "Bajrangi Bhaijaan".