India has reportedly withdrawn visa to the Chinese dissident leader amidst growing Chinese protests, reported NDTV quoting top government sources.
Germany-based Uyghur activist, Dolkun Isa, had been granted a visa to attend a conference in Dharamsala this week.
Reacting to the new development, Isa said, “I express my disappointment on Indian authorities’ cancellation of my visa to attend the Conference in Dharamsala. India had granted me a tourist e-visa, but it was cancelled after my visit was widely reported in the Indian press.”
Indian media had widely hailed this as a bold diplomatic response to China after the latter repeatedly justified blocking New Delhi’s proposal at the UN to designate Pakistan-based Jaish e Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.
Isa, a top leader of the World Uyghur Congress in exile, has often been accused by the Communist regime in China of supporting terror activities in Xinjiang province, which has been a centre of frequent secterian violence between the local Uyghur population and government forces.
Isa told NDTV that he had an electronic visa to come to India for a pro-democracy conference which the Dalai Lama is also expected to attend.
He said, “I haven’t decided yet on whether to come to India… I have got an electronic visa. The Chinese government is not happy, India should guarantee my security and free movement.”
Chinese foreign ministry had said, “What I want to point out is that Dolkun is a terrorist on red notice of the Interpol and Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is due obligation of relevant countries.”
India had recently also issued a visa to Baloch nationalist leader Naela Qadri Baloch, who lives in self-exile in Canada.
Baloch leaders in exile are viewed as secessionists by Pakistan’s establishment. The Indian Express had quoted top sources as saying that the decision to issue a visa to both leaders was taken at the “highest level” in the government.
However, the report of cancelling visa to Isa will pose many questions to India’s foreign policies particularly after severe criticism for PM Narendra Modi’s questionable foreign policy towards Pakistan.