NEW DELHI: Allama Dr Muhammed Tahir-ul-Qadri's visit to India Saturday met with a set back as New Delhi refused him a visa for reasons known better to Intelligence Bureau (IB), Geo News reported.
Canada-based Pakistani scholar Qadri, who is the chief of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek, was scheduled to address at least 40 events in India over a month.
MQI, in a statement issued, expressed utmost dismay over Indian government's decision as Qadri had visited the country several times before.
The visa denial has left Qadri's hosts, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Mumbai and Minhaj-ul-Quran International (India), distraught and his followers disappointed.
"It is shocking as Dr Qadri has millions of followers in India, and it is not the first time he is visiting the country", said an MQI spokesperson.
The statement further added that all the programs were organized after MQI (India) and ORF held talks with the Indian home minister.
ORF Mumbai's chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni, along with MQI (India)'s president Rafeeq Ahmed Khan, called on Indian home minister Sushilkumar Shinde last week and briefed him on Qadri's background.
"Shinde promised us that he would hold a meeting with officials and try to sort out the issue," said Khan.
Kulkarni, while talking to reporters, said, "Officials in the home ministry told us that Dr Qadri's visa has been denied because of Intelligence Bureau's (IB) note. We were not informed on what grounds the IB has issued the note in question."
Kulkarni added that, since Qadri is a well-known figure and during his last visit to India in 2012 he had addressed huge rallies, it was surprising that the officials were delaying clearance of his visa.