New Delhi: Former Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad has called off his proposed visit to India amidst controversy over granting him visa to watch ongoing India-Pakistan ODI series.

Notably, Miandad was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on Saturday after visa clearance to watch the third India-Pakistan ODI match slated on Sunday.

A Pakistan Cricket Board PCB official said that the board did not want the focus to move away from cricket to other matters.

Ever since news came out that Miandad, whose son Junaid married the fugitive Mumbai don Dawood Ibrahim’s daughter Mahrukh in Dubai in 2005, a controversy broke out in India over government giving him visa for the visit.

Opposition parties like BJP and Shiv Sena were red-faced over this and vehemently criticised the government for allowing visa to the former Pak cricketer.

Reacting to the reservations of the opposition parties, Minister for External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, on Thursday defended the decision to grant visa to Miandad saying, “Miandad was not on the 'negative list' of those not to be given visas. No Pakistani VISA gets cleared without MHA clearance. Inputs from all agencies were taken into consideration before this move. It is an internal procedure.”

Minister of State for Home RPN Singh had said, "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."

There had been reports before a series in 2005 that a request for a visa by the batting great was turned down by the Indian government.


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