The British High Commission reportedly refused to issue a multiple visit visa to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Friday and returned his passport with objections, sources in the Foreign Office said.
An official stationed at the Foreign Office told The Express Tribune that Fazl had applied for a UK visa on May 15 to participate in the JUI-F annual conference. The conference, organised by its London chapter, is scheduled to be held on July 1.
Sources added that the British High Commission returned Fazl’s passport along with a letter explaining the nature of objections stated by the visa officer who served the JUI-F chief’s application.
The official further said that on Friday afternoon, the Foreign Office was requested to intervene to get the issue resolved. Following this, a high-level foreign office official contacted British High Commissioner Adam Thomson to convey Fazl’s grievances.
However, when contacted, Fazl declined to comment on the matter, although one of his close associates who requested anonymity said, “Maulana himself requested the British High Commission through a written letter to return his passport as he had some important engagements here in Pakistan.”
The associate went on to say that the JUI-F chief had not received a letter containing any objections or a refusal stamp on his passport.
When contacted, British High Commission spokesperson Mike Girling refused to give any detail on the matter, saying “the British High Commission does not comment and discuss individual visa cases”.
Last year, the US Embassy in Islamabad had also refused to issue a visa to the JUI-F chief.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
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