New Delhi: India has withdrawn visa granted to a Chinese dissident after Beijing’s strong protest, say government sources.
Dolkun Isa, a Germany-based Uyghur activist, had been granted visa to attend a conference in Dharamsala this week.
The move was seen as linked to China blocking New Delhi’s proposal at the UN to designate Pakistan-based Jaish e Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.
China accuses Dolkun Isa of terror activities in the remote Xinjiang region where there is frequent violence between the local Uyghur population and government forces. Isa was given asylum in Germany in the 1990s.
Speaking exclusively to NDTV on the phone from Germany, Mr Isa said he had an electronic visa to come to India for a pro-democracy conference which the Dalai Lama is also expected to attend.
“I haven’t decided yet on whether to come to India… I have got an electronic visa. The Chinese government is not happy, India should guarantee my security and free movement,” he said.
“China has put me on interpol list since 1997. Most countries have just ignored it. India is a democracy. I don’t think I’ll be arrested but I don’t want any difficulties either.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in a statement, referred to an Interpol red corner notice against Isa and said: “Bringing him to justice is a due obligation of relevant countries.”
In recent days, India has raised the issue of China’s stand on Masood Azhar at the highest levels. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar took it up with the Chinese leadership last week.