ibnlive » India

May 27, 2010 at 09:46pm IST

Exclusive: Grilled and denied a Canadian visa

New Delhi: Canada has had to retract in what was becoming a major diplomatic issue with India on not issuing visas to security personnel.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned Canadian High Commissioner Joseph Caron and asked him to stop discrimination against Indian security agencies.

He was asked to withdraw offensive statements and make a public statement on the issue.

Following the reprimand Canada granted visa to a senior Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer, who is visiting Canada ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the country. The officer was earlier denied a visa, reportedly because he was associated with a spy agency.

India also warned Canada it could retaliate and deny visas to Canadian officials, who travel to Afghanistan via India.

CNN-IBN has access to the December 2008 conversation between a Canadian visa officer and a former BSF jawan, Amrik Singh Tank , who was denied a visa.

AS Tank's visa interview transcript:

Visa officer: Where have you served?

AS Tank: Amritsar, Bangladesh, J&K, Tripura, Bandipura, Gurdaspur.

Visa officer: What were your duties?

AS Tank: I had guard duties. If someone sneaked in, we reported it to our senior officers.

Visa officer: Did your duties include questioning detainees?

AS Tank: I took basic information like name(s). Later, I got promoted and did border patrolling.

Visa officer: Were you involved in Operation Blue Star?

AS Tank: No.

Visa officer: Were you involved in counter insurgency in J&K?

AS Tank: No (Tank was posted at Srinagar HQs between 1991-1996).

Visa officer: That’s hard to believe. 400,000 troops were posted in Kashmir at the time.

AS Tank: Our duties were to protect our senior officers.

Visa officer: Did you ever kill any militants?

AS Tank: No.

Visa officer: Did you torture any suspects?

AS Tank: No.

Visa officer: Did you see suspects being tortured?

AS Tank: No.

The visa officer denied Tank a visa.