New Delhi: British lawmaker Lord Alexander Carlile was denied entry into India as he wanted to indulge in “political acts” by addressing a press conference, which is violation of his visa conditions, Home Ministry officials said today. The comments came after Carlile, legal consultant to jailed former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia, said Indian authorities gave him “no true reason” for revoking his visa and denying him entry into India on his arrival here last night.
“Addressing a press conference is a political act. No country issues visa for indulging in political activities. Mr Carlile’s visa was not for addressing the press,” an official said.
The official queried why India should India allow a foreign national to address a press conference on an issue which is about a third country’s politics?
“Issuing visa does not strip the host of its right to stop a foreign national from entering the country,” another official said.
Carlile alleged there was “intolerable political pressure” from the Bangladeshi government to try and stop him from going to India.
“The Bangladesh government called in the Acting Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka and asked him to urge the Indian government to refuse me entry”, he alleged.
“The Indian government did that and they ought to be ashamed of themselves, denying a British QC (Queen’s Counsel), a member of the House of Lords, entry into India,” Carlile said.
There are several cases pending against Zia, including of graft. Her party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, claims that the cases are politically motivated to keep its party chief out of the national elections scheduled for December.