17 Pak delegates denied visas to attend Quebec youth congress

July 26th, 2008 - 7:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Montreal (Canada), July 26 (ANI): A seventeen member Pakistani delegation is among dozens of activists from developing countries who have been denied temporary visas into Canada, and thus will not the World Youth Congress being held in Quebec.

Organisers of the event said the activists failed to convince immigration officials that they would leave the country after the event ends.

The World Youth Congress runs from August 10 to August 21, reports the Globe and Mail.

“It’’s very disappointing to see that Canada, which wants to play a role on the international scene, can”t even let youngsters participate in an event like this,” said Christian Robitaille, the event’’s director general.

Robitaille claimed that the refusals have been sweeping, adding that two out of three invitees from the world’’s poorest countries have seen their applications denied.

Though he couldn”t provide a precise figure, Robitaille estimated that more than 150 people between 15 and 30 years-of age have had their travel plans dashed.

News that all 17 Pakistani delegates were snubbed made headlines in Karachi newspapers.

Robitaille pointed out that the 600 congress participants were selected from an initial list of 15,000 applicants.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada refused to confirm the figures provided by the World Youth Congress.

Immigration Canada suggested that many applicants from Africa and parts of Asia and South America were victims of circumstances beyond their control. (ANI)

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