Defending the grant of visa to former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad, the government on Thursday said the home ministry has followed "proper" procedures and said that he was not on India's "negative list".
"It is a decision taken by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the
government. What are the circumstances, what is considered when an approval is given... what goes into it, is an internal government matter," external affairs minister Salman Khurshid told reporters in Bangalore.
He was responding to a question about the opposition to the grant of visa to Miandad, an official of the Pakistan Cricket Board, for the India-Pakistan One Day International.
The government's decision has been criticised by the opposition BJP and Shiv Sena which cited Miandad's family ties with fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Miandad's son Junaid is married to Mahrukh, the daughter of Dawood, who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case.
Due to Miandad's family ties with Dawood, India's most wanted terrorist, there had been reports before a series in 2005 that any requests for a visa by the batting great could be turned down by the Indian government.
Khurshid, who was on private visit to the state, retorted: "It is the job of MHA. They have taken a decision. No Pakistani visa gets cleared without MHA clearance. Inputs from all agencies taken into consideration. It is an internal procedure. Proper procedures have been gone through".
Apparently referring to Shiv Sena's objections over grant of visa, he said "Opposition only questions. Proper procedures have been gone through in this. Any law of prudence which had to be followed, it was followed, I am sure law will take care".
"He is a well known cricketer. His visa application papers were in order and valid and that is why the government has decided to give him visa," minister of state for home RPN Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
When asked if Miandad was not on India's "negative list", Singh said "no, nothing like that".
"He was given visa when his visa papers were found valid," he said.
Former Pakistan captain Miandad has been granted an Indian visa that will allow him to watch the final one-dayer of the ongoing limited-over cricket series between the two countries in New Delhi on January 6.
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