Canada denies visa to former Pakistani intel officials, says ex-envoy. Usual tactic by western powers


New Delhi: Canada has been denying visas to former Pakistani intelligence officers due to a law that bars entry to those suspected of terrorism or human rights violations, former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said Thursday.

In a post on X, Haqqani added, “They avoid listing reasons by saying you might not come back [to Pakistan].”

Lt. Gen Asif Yasin Malik (Retd), a former defence secretary of Pakistan, was denied a visa by Ottawa earlier this week.

Malik said the reply from Canada to his application on 24 February came after three months, and the reason given for denial was that he would not “come back” (to Pakistan). “What a farce? What do they think of Canada?” Malik wrote on X. He added: “Can they dare to refuse visa to Israeli citizens after 70 years of repression of Palestinians???”

According to the Canadian government, an individual may be found inadmissible to enter the country for security reasons, including espionage, subversion, violence or terrorism, or membership of an organisation involved in any of these.

Other reasons for rejection include human or international rights violations, including war crimes, crimes against humanity or being a “senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions”.

Malik took aim at Canada’s visa policy, pointing out that it did not discriminate against Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crew members, who have been increasingly vanishing in the country.

Diplomatic sources said the denial of visas to people who are suspected of being involved in human rights violations is a practice which is followed by several western countries.

They said there is no official blacklist or any formal notification or communication and these are decisions made by security agencies.

Back in 2010, there was a diplomatic spat between India and Canada after the latter refused visas to a then member of the Armed Forces Tribunal, three serving Brigadiers, a retired Lt. General and a former senior Intelligence Bureau official on grounds that their organisations had been engaging in violence.

Last year, Canada was accused of denying visas to retired Indian policemen who had served in Punjab.

(Edited by Tikli Basu)

Also read: Canadian officials counter intel agency, say no info ‘suggesting’ disinformation by India in 2021 polls


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