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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Delay in communication helped Javed Miandad get visa

Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 05, 2013
First Published: 23:40 IST(5/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:00 IST(6/1/2013)

Discreet investigations on how Javed Miandad was given an Indian visa to watch the one-day cricket match at Feroz Shah Kotla have revealed that Union home ministry had given an "adverse opinion" on the former Pakistan cricketer's visa request.

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However, due to delay in communication, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad gave a green signal in the meantime.

Miandad's son Junaid married Marukh, daughter of 1993 Mumbai blasts main accused Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar in Dubai in 2005.

Though home minister Sushilkumar Shinde dismissed the visa issue by cursorily saying that one of his officers was responsible, investigations reveal that the foreigners' division of the ministry had opposed giving travel sanction to Miandad.

Top government sources said the former Pakistani cricketer was given the visa due to time lag between the home ministry, ministry of external affairs and the Indian high commission in Islamabad.

"Due to large number of applicants eager to watch the Indo-Pak match in Delhi, the high commission had set a limit of six days for the home ministry/ Intelligence Bureau to screen the applicants. The high commission had decided that visa would be given to the applicant if there was no response from the home ministry or the MEA," a senior officer said.

He added that "In this case, the adverse opinion of the foreigners' division on Miandad was inexplicably delayed as a result of which the High Commission in Islamabad issued the visa to Dawood's relative".

While Miandad has now backed out of going to India due to adverse publicity and objections from Opposition BJP and even a ruling Congress Party MP, the episode has highlighted the need of synergy between the home ministry and the MEA.

Indian visas to Pakistani nationals are subjected to thorough screening by the home ministry after 26/11 accused and top LeT terrorists David Coleman Headley and Sajid Mir conducted reconnaissance of targets in India on tourist visas.


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