Pakistan minister denied Indian visa to attend international cricket match
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A Pakistan government minister was denied a visa to enter India to watch Thursday’s second one-day cricket international between the nations at Mohali.
Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was informed by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad that he could not be issued the required visa.
“I was planning to travel on Wednesday, but they left me disappointed,” Ahmed told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
“They didn’t give any reason for not granting me the visa.”
It’s the second time Ahmed has been denied an Indian visa. His application also was turned down during Pakistan’s tour in 2005.
“This time I had got an invitation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India and even then they did not give me the visa at the eleventh hour,” Ahmed said.
No official from the Indian High Commission was available for comment. Ahmed said he had permission from the Pakistan government to travel to India and watch the cricket match.
“I have informed the prime minister (Shaukat Aziz) about what they have done and I strongly protest,” Ahmed said. The minister said he was a strong supporter of more contact between Pakistan and India.
“I firmly believe that there should be people-to-people contact between the two countries,” Ahmed said. India leads the five-match limited-overs series 1-0 after winning by five wickets at Gauhati on Monday.