That Zaeef was granted visa to visit Goa to attend a conference had sparked a row. According to the rules, people from Pakistan, Afghanistan and China require background checks to get a visa to India.
However, home ministry sources said that the visit of the Taliban leader does not mean any change in visa policy. It was issues after requests by the intelligence agencies to MHA.
The issue was handled by senior officials of home ministry
handling visa requests and intelligence officials. "It was not a
government decision and was totally between intelligence agencies
who wanted Zaeef to visit India," said a senior official, reported
Reportedly, Zaeef's visa was granted as intelligence agencies wanted to discuss the situations in Afghanistan with him. They sought to know the role India could play once the US troops pullout is completed next year.
Zaeef is said to be a confidant of Mullah Omar who headed the Taliban government in Afghanistan till 2001.
(With agency inputs)