India's general elections and security concerns behind delay of visa to Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri: MQI spokesman

A spokesman of Minhaj-ul-Quran International has said that MQI is registered as NGO in India and Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was visiting India on the invitation of MQI (India) and renowned Indian think tank ‘Observer Research Foundation’. He said that his tour programme and other engagements had been worked out by these organizations and both were in touch with the Indian authorities. He said that the Indian authorities promised to the hosts that they would issue a visa to Dr Qadri one week ahead of start of his tour to India. Following this assurance, MQI (India) mapped out all details of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s visit.

The Spokesman said that the Indian authorities told MQI (India) and Observer Research Foundation a few days prior to his planned arrival that Intelligence Bureau (IB) was not giving clearance for issuance of visa due to security concerns because the general elections were at hand and IB had concerns of serious nature about security and safety of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri during his stay in India. In these circumstances, the visa procedures of India did not allow for the issuance of visa. It said that the visit of Dr Qadri to India should be planned after the Indian elections were held.

The Spokesman made it clear that the office holders of MQI (India) remained in touch with the Indian authorities during this entire process and at no stage did Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri make personal contact with the Indian government.

It is pertinent to mention here that Milad Conference, the biggest gathering of this kind in the Indian history being held under the banner of MQI (India) on Monday night, would go ahead as planned. The hundreds of thousands of people will attend the Conference. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri will deliver his keynote address through a video link.