India denies Musharraf a visa

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NEW DELHI - India has refused to give a visa to former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf to attend a function in Delhi as it was not convinced of the reason for the visit, sources said Wednesday. Musharraf had last week accused India of fomenting trouble in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

According to external affairs ministry sources, Musharraf had applied for visa at the Indian High Commission in London to visit here at the invitation of the India chapter of an international group, Young Presidents’ Association.

Official sources said that India did not sanction the visa as it was not convinced of the reason for the visit. They said the decision was taken by the home ministry.

The former military dictator has been based in London since being forced to step down after the 2008 Pakistani general elections.

Musharraf has been tying to make a comeback into Pakistani politics by essentially harnessing social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. He had even launched his own political party, All Pakistan Muslim League, in June.

On Nov 26, Musharraf had told a Pakistani television channel that he had “solid evidence” of India and Afghanistan creating unrest in Balochistan.

He alleged that tribal leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s grandson, Bramdagh Bugti, is received by agents from the Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) whenever he visits India.

“I know that they finance him, they give him weapons to create trouble and stab us in the back in Balochistan.”

Officials said that this statement had been one of the reasons for the denial of visa.

Besides, India had got alarmed when some supporters of Musharraf had also applied for a visa to travel alongwith him, which seemed to be now more than just an invitation to deliver a speech.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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