The decision to grant a visa to Javed Miandad will not be reconsidered, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday.
In an interview to CNN-IBN Deputy Foreign Editor Suhasini Haidar, Khurshid said that there was no question mark on Miandad's personal integrity.
Below is the excerpt of the interview.
Suhasini Haidar: I would like to start with an issue that's current right now. Indian government's decision to give Javed Miandad to watch the matches, the match in Delhi. Now you have defended the government's decision saying that it was a matter of procedure, that he fulfilled all visa procedures; but surely there is a larger issue given his links to Dawood Ibrahim, given that it is an emotive issue.
Salman Khurshid: 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 ofcourse people who wanted to come and had return tickets etc. The MHA draws up these categories and we follow those categories. If you start making exceptions there, you got to have very good reason for an exception. So I think we should just leave it at that. The idea of cricket is to open up avenues of improving our relations and I think there is a commitment to improve relations with Pakistan without turning a blind eye to some awful things that had happened and we are pursuing those things as well. So... but there isn't a 'first do this and then improve relations'. You got to move in parallel and that's what we have done.
Suhasini Haidar: Is there any chance you would re-consider the decision?
Salman Khurshid: No, there is no issue of reconsideration.