India Visa Denial Unacceptable: Krishna Tells Canada

Vikram singh

Feb 25, 2005
BANGALORE: Sending a stern message, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today termed as "entirely unacceptable" the reasons cited for denial of visa by Canada to several serving and retired Indian military and intelligence personnel and asked it to address the situation "appropriately"."We have conveyed to the Canadian government that the letter issued by the Canadian High Commission to serving or retired officials of our security forces and agencies who had applied for Canadian visa are entirely unacceptable," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters here."India is a democracy. As institutions function under the Constitution of India, we are proud of our security forces and agencies and the services they render to the nation," he said.Making it clear that India wanted early action, he said, "We expect the Canadian authorities to address the situation appropriately".The Canadian High Commission in Delhi, over the last few years, has denied visas to a number of senior serving and retired officials of the armed forces and intelligence establishment, claiming that their organisations or they themselves have served in sensitive areas like Jammu and Kashmir and engaged in violence and human rights violations.Home Secretary G K Pillai has written a strongly-worded letter to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, insisting that the MEA should act tough and seek apology from the High Commission and withdrawal of the officials who made the adverse comments against the security forces, sources said.In Beijing, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the matter was being taken seriously and the Canadian High Commissioner was summoned by Vivek Katju, Secretary (West) in the MEA, on Monday to lodge protest.Meanwhile, political parties expressed outrage over the Canadian behaviour and BJP and JD(U) accused the government of following "a very weak" foreign policy."Has India's foreign policy become so weak that a country like Canada is denying visas to top offficials?.. We don't need any certificate from Canada on our armed forces but such incidents show that we are following a very weak foreign policy," party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.He said that while India was fighting terrorism for the past several decades, the government was unable to present its case properly before the world.NDA convenor and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said, "this kind of attitude by a country like Canada only goes on to show that India has become subservient to such countries."He said, "if the nation is strong then nobody can behave in such manner with us. There is a need to strengthen India in front of the world."Congress also disapproved of the Canadian action.

Visa denial unacceptable: Krishna tells Canada

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