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Govt defends decision on visa to Miandad

Bangalore: Defending the grant of visa to former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad, the Government on Thursday said the Home Ministry has followed "proper" procedures.

"It is a decision taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Government. What are the circumstances, what is considered when an approval is given... what goes into it, is an internal government matter," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters here.

He was responding to a question about the opposition to the grant of visa to Miandad, an official of the Pakistan Cricket Board, for the India-Pakistan one-day.

Due to Miandad's family ties with Dawood Ibrahim, 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.

Khurshid, who was on private visit to the state, retorted: "It is the job of MHA. They have taken a decision. No Pakistani VISA gets cleared without MHA clearance. Inputs from all agencies taken into consideration. It is an internal procedure. Proper procedures have been gone through".

Apparently referring to Shiv Sena's objections over grant of visa, he said "Opposition only questions. Proper procedures have been gone through in this. Any law of prudence which had to be followed, it was followed, I am sure Law will take care".

When asked about the action contemplated against Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA, Akbaruddin Owaisi for his alleged hate speech, Khurshid said legal procedures will be followed.

"I am not the Home Minister. I am sure the Home Minister gets full inputs from the intelligence bureau", he said.

(Agencies)

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