Burney deported due to ‘glitch’ in airport look-out listMay 31st, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Leading Pakistani human rights advocate and former minister Ansar Burney was refused entry into India and deported to Dubai Friday night as he was on a “look-out notice” in Indian airports that had not been updated, an official said Saturday. The government is trying to find out why the list had not been updated and why Burney’s name figured in the list.
“We are trying to find out why the look-out list had not been updated in the airports’ computers,” sources in the home ministry told IANS Saturday.
The government is also trying to find out why Burney’s name figured in the “look-out notice”, which is normally meant for undesirable elements, suspect terrorists, people wanted in court cases and financial fraud.
A person figuring in the look-out notice is barred entry into the country. The notice applies to Indians as well as foreigners and is based on information provided by various agencies of the government, including the intelligence agency RAW.
“We don’t know the reasons right now. We are trying to find out which agency of the government provided information for placing Burney on this list,” sources said.
Burney, who played a leading role in the release of Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh earlier and has also pushed for clemency for Sarabjit Singh, an Indian on death row in Pakistan, landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi Friday night only to find that he was not welcome here. He was immediately deported and put on an Emirates flight to Dubai. He had come here to attend a conference.
Burney, former minister of human rights who has generated a lot of goodwill in India for his spirited advocacy of the cause of Indian prisoners, has expressed “shock” at the treatment meted out to him by airport authorities in India.
“I am shocked at the behaviour of the Indian government. But this will not affect my work,” he said from Dubai.
“This is the most heartbreaking moment of my life. I can’t understand how the Indian government could deport a person who is relentlessly working for the good of Indian persons lodged in Pakistani jails,” Burney told some media persons minutes before he was sent back to Dubai Friday night.
According to Burney, he was not given any reason by the immigration officials, but was asked to return to Dubai. Burney had recently visited India on the invitation of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, but then he came via the Wagah land route.
“I will continue my efforts in securing the release of Sarabjit Singh and other innocent persons, including Indians, lodged in Pakistani jails,” he said.
The Indian external affairs ministry did not comment on Burney’s deportation, saying they were not involved.
“It was a private visit. We don’t know anything about it,” said sources in the Pakistani high commission.
Reliable sources, however, pointed out that Islamabad’s reticence on Burney’s deportation shows that it did not want the lawyer to come to India at a time when the two countries are in the process of resolving at the highest political level the issue of prisoners detained in each other’s country.
The powers-that-be in Islamabad are said to be unhappy with Burney’s advocacy of the cause of Indian prisoners and the publicity he gets in India.
Pakistan is yet to decide on India’s request for clemency for Sarabjit Singh, who was convicted and sentenced to death for his alleged complicity in blasts in Multan nearly two decades ago. The issue figured in recent discussions between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad.
- India renews request for Sarabjit's release, awaits clear picture (Second Lead) - Jun 27, 2012
- Burney not deported, welcome to India, says home ministry (Lead) - May 31, 2008
- Mystery thickens, Bukhari says government cleared Burney's visit - Jun 02, 2008
- I regret the day Surjeet Singh got released: Dalbir Kaur - Jul 02, 2012
- Soni appeals for Sarabjit's release - Jun 27, 2012
- Pakistan to release Sarabjit Singh soon, says lawyer - Sep 07, 2012
- Sarabjit's family shattered by Pakistan's 'cruel joke' (Lead) - Jun 27, 2012
- Sarabjit's family on indefinite fast; meets Krishna (Second Lead) - Jun 28, 2012
- India calls for Sarabjit's release, upset at Pakistan's U-turn (Roundup) - Jun 27, 2012
- Chisti may meet Sarabjit in Pakistan - May 11, 2012
- Krishna assures Sarabjit's family he will take up issue - Aug 17, 2012
- Sarabjit and Surjeet: Shock in one home, joy in another (Second Lead) - Jun 27, 2012
- Pak Govt. tells Burney's family that it was not involved in his deportation from India - May 31, 2008
- Sarabjit's family to protest at Jantar Mantar - Jun 28, 2012
- India presses for Sarabjit's release, awaits confirmation (Lead) - Jun 27, 2012
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