India has denied a visa to Pakistan's ex-president Pervez Musharraf who wanted to visit the country to attend a seminar over the weekend.
“Musharraf wanted a multi-city visa. It has not been granted,” a government official said.
The decision was taken after the home ministry expressed reservations over the visit of the former Pakistani military ruler, official sources said.
Indian missions abroad and the foreign ministry has to refer all visa requests from Pakistani nationals and foreigners of Pakistani origin to the home ministry. No clear reason was cited for the reservations.
But sources indicated that New Delhi did not want convergence of elements opposed to the present regime in Indian soil for their activities.
That Musharraf was the architect of the 1999 Kargil conflict and his recent anti-India statements also played a role in the decision. “It's unfortunate that the Indian government feels so upset or under-confident that they have denied him (Musharraf) a visa,” Rasheed Qureshi, a retired military general and spokesperson of Musharraf's All Muslim League party said, according to a PTI report from Islamabad.
Musharraf had recently said that India was responsible for creating unrest in Pakistan's south-western Baluchistan province and authorities have "solid evidence" in this regard.
Musharraf has visited the country thrice; the first was for the Agra summit. He later made two more visits in 2005 to watch an Indo-Pak cricket match and in 2009, after shedding power, to attend a media event.
Musharraf's supporters had also applied to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for a visa to visit at the time he was to travel to India. Musharraf had been invited to attend a seminar hosted by an international outfit Young Presidents Organisation.