Congress MP speaks for 'hurt' India, says Javed Miandad not welcome here for Dawood Ibrahim terror link

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 4 2013, 16:43pm hrs
Javed MiandadMiandad would arrive in India on January 5 to watch the third and final ODI. (Reuters)
A lawmaker of the Congress Party on Thursday said he was not in favour of former Pakistan cricket skipper Javed Miandad being given a visa to visit India for the ongoing one-day match series, saying it will hurt the sentiments of the people of the country for he shares close family ties with India's most wanted gangster-turned-terrorist Dawood Ibrahim.

Congress Member of Parliament Jagdambika Pal said Dawood Ibrahim is considered to be the mastermind of all terrorist attacks in India.

"He is the most wanted not only for India, but the entire world. And issuing a visa to his relative is not at all correct. We are still demanding Dawood Ibrahim from Pakistan, but they said that he is not in their country. And if a visa is issued to his relative, then it will hurt the sentiments of the people here (in India)," he added.

Miandad would arrive in India on January 5 to watch the third and final ODI between the two Asian neighbours in New Delhi the next day. Miandad, who is now a senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official, would also be honoured during that match.

Miandad's son Junaid Miandad is married to Dawood's daughter Mahrukh Ibrahim.

Dawood is still wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case. He was charged by India for masterminding the 1993 serials blasts in Mumbai that claimed around 260 lives.

Govt defends decision to issue visa to 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.