Islamabad/New Delhi: Former Pakistani cricket team captain Javed Miandad has cancelled his India tour after controversy over his visa. Miandad is related to wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim as the former cricketer's son is married to Dawood's daughter.
According to reports in Pakistani media Miandad cancelled the tour over security concerns and the political controversy over his visit in India. The granting of visa to Miandad, who was scheduled to come to Delhi on January 6 for the third and finale One Day International cricket match between India and Pakistan, had led to a controversy with several political parties targeting the Central Government on the issue.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena questioned the decision to grant visa to Miandad, pointing out that he was related to Dawood, who is accused of terror activities in India.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut welcomed Miandad's decision of not coming to India. "I welcome the move of Javed Miandad not coming to India. If he had come to India he would have had to face protests and there would have been security problem. It's a public victory, not a government victory. Across the party line it was clear that Javed Miandad would have faced protests if he had come to India. It's a public victory," said Raut.
Even Congress leader Jagdambika Pal had questioned the propriety of welcoming Miandad. Pal said that since Miandad was related to an internationally proscribed terrorist and so he should not be allowed to come to India.
"Giving visa to his (Dawood Ibrahim's) relative is wrong. We still consider Dawood Ibrahim the most wanted and have been asking Pakistan to send him back. Giving visa to his relative will hurt the sentiments of people in India," Pal said on Wednesday.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had clarified that Miandad was granted visa as he fulfilled the criteria and his integrity was not in doubt. "I think it's more than clear that we haven't ever and nobody in Pakistan has offered for that matter in anywhere in the world put a question mark on Javed Miandad, that he has a personal involvement or that his integrity as far as these issues are concerned is doubtful etc. So should we have just been... said 'Well we think emotionally. You are not to come". We made categories, those categories included 'official of Pakistan Cricket Board' and of course people who wanted to come and had return tickets etc," Khurshid said earlier on Friday.
Due to Miandad's family ties with Dawood - who is wanted in India in connection with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case - there had been reports before a cricket series in 2005 that any requests for a visa by the former Pakistan cricketer could be turned down by the Indian government. Miandad's son Junaid is married to Dawood's daughter Mahrukh.
The BJP had on Wednesday demanded that Miandad should be questioned by the Indian security agencies on the whereabouts of Dawood.