Govt Defends Decision to Issue Visa to Javed Miandad

New Delhi
Govt Defends Decision to Issue Visa to Javed Miandad
The Government today defended the decision to issue visa to Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad saying he was not on India's "negative list".

"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 R P N Singh told reporters here.

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.

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.

When asked about his reaction, External Affairs Salman Khurshid said "It's a decision that has been taken by the Home Ministry. And I am sure they would have taken inputs from all concerned agencies and from our mission in Pakistan. I am sure they would have followed all procedures."

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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