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India-Pakistan engage in war of words on visa denials

India and Pakistan are in a diplomatic row after visas were denied to a diplomat from Pakistan and yoga instructors from India

world Updated: Jun 11, 2015 02:54 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times

India and Pakistan seem to be locked in a diplomatic row after New Delhi denied a visa to an official to be posted in the High Commission here. Sources said the visa application of Idrees Mohammed was rejected because he is “an ISI agent with terror links”.

Sources in the Pakistan High Commission said the move is “against the diplomatic norms”. Pakistan had applied for a diplomatic visa for Mohammed and the authorities have now taken up the issue with the external affairs ministry.

An applicant is not informed of the reason behind the visa rejection. Terming the development “unacceptable”, Pakistan demanded to know why the visa was rejected. A spokesperson from the country’s foreign ministry also revealed that due to the inordinate delay in India granting Mohammed a visa, he has now been posted to another foreign mission.

The incident comes in the wake of Pakistan denying visas to Indian yoga instructors who were supposed to travel to the neighbouring country on the occasion of the first-ever International Yoga Day to be celebrated on June 21. The identities of the officials have not been revealed.
“Visas for 30 yoga instructors were rejected by Pakistan. No reason was given. It is up to Pakistan to explain,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had said on Monday.

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