Jama Masjid Imam blames Pak govt for Burney deportation

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New Delhi, June 1 (UNI) Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari suspects that the deportation of Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney was done at the behest of the Pakistan government.

Talking to UNI here, Mr Bukhari said since the former Pakistan minister was a known advocate of human rights and supporting leniency for Sarabjit Singh, facing possible execution in Pakistan for alleged involvement in 1994 terror strikes, the role of Pakistan government could not be ruled out.

''I suppose the Indian government did it at the behest of Pakistani government... Without the authorisation of the higher-ups how could a junior immigration official deport a person of his stature.'' But at the same time, he said the matter should end with the government of India realising its mistake and expressing regret.

''Der aye durust aye (better late than never),'' he said referrring to the stand of the Indian government.

Mr Bukhari was reacting to Friday's 'denial of entry' to Mr Burney by an Immigration official at the IGI Airport here.

Mr Burney, instrumental in getting Indian prisoner Kashmir Singh released from a Pakistani jail, had reached Delhi on May 30 from London, via Dubai, to attend an international conference against terrorism organised by the Jama Masjid United Forum.

Meanwhile, the Indian government today denied that Mr Ansar Burney was deported as alleged in a section of the press.

It also ordered a probe into the incident while stressing that Mr Burney was denied entry due to inadequate documentation and added that ''the inconvenience to Mr Burney was unfortunate and regrettable and he is always welcome to visit India.'' UNI NAB-AN PD VP1140

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