Burney gets India apology over ‘deportation mistake’

DUBAI — Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney yesterday expressed surprise over the silence of the Pakistani government on his ‘deportation’ from India.

By M. A. Qudoos (Deputy Bureau Chief)

Published: Mon 2 Jun 2008, 1:23 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:21 PM

“On the other hand, the Indian government has apologised to me for the ‘mistake’ and invited me to visit India any time I wanted to, even today or tomorrow,” he told Khaleej Times from London.

“The joint secretary in the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called to apologise on behalf of the Indian government for the incident, which he said was a ‘mistake’,” Burney pointed out.

“They told me that their doors are always open for me and that the officer at the airport who denied me entry was not aware,” he said.

Burney said he was overwhelmed by the support extended to him by the Indian media and the public over the incident.

“Nobody from the Pakistan government has called me to find out what happened to me at the airport in Delhi. Nor has the government lodged a protest with the Indian government or issued a statement. Even if I am not Ansar Burney, I am a Pakistani citizen. But my government has not given any reaction to what happened to me,” he said.

Burney was invited to attend an anti-terrorism conference o|r|g|a|n|i|s|e|d by the Jama Masjid management in Delhi on May 31 and June 1 to be followed by a peace march on June 2.

He said that he had informed the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad about his visit and programme in India, but did not inform the Pakistani government because he was not visiting India in an official capacity.

Burney said that he had come to know that the “Look Out” notice, which was apparently the basis for denying him entry into India, was issued in 1992.

“How was I allowed entry six weeks ago and why was that ‘order’ still in the computer,” he wondered.

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