Burney's visit was cleared by Govt: Bukhari
The schedule of former Pakistan minister Ansar Burney, who was sent back upon his arrival here, was conveyed to the government well in advance and it had given the go ahead to his visit, Shahi Imam of the capital's Jama Masjid Syed Ahmad Bukhari said on Sunday.
The Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs were informed six months back about the Pakistani human rights activist's schedule to participate in the international conference against terrorism in New Delhi, but he was sent back, Bukhari told reporters.
"The process for the conference had started six months earlier. At that time we had informed the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs about his visit. The government had also given the clearance for his visit," he said.
The Jama Masjid United Forum is organising the conference.
The list of delegates was prepared and the confirmed list was sent to both ministries. The government had also sent its letters for visa clearance, Bukhari said.
"If at all they had any reservation, the government should have told us not to invite Burney to the conference. But sending him back in this fashion at the last minute is very unfortunate," Bukhari said.
He said Burney was instrumental in the release of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh and he is now fighting for the relief of death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh.
"The government's step would demoralise him in doing such work in future. We are not able to understand the government's action," he said.
The Home Ministry has already expressed regrets for sending back Burney upon arrival at Delhi Airport on Friday night.