Musharraf visa said ‘report to police’ before MEA stepped in

FP

Pakistan is upset that its former president Pervez Musharraf and his wife Sehba were issued an Indian visa which required them to report to the police when they arrived in New Delhi on Friday for a private visit.

Musharraf was issued the visa from the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi. When he landed at Delhi airport on Friday, Pakistani High Commission officials were surprised to find that his passport, as well as that of his wife, had the Indian visa which was not "exempted from police reporting".

They immediately informed officials at the Ministry of External Affairs and conveyed their displeasure, sources told The Indian Express. The MEA intervened and exempted Musharraf from reporting to the police station. But the couple's passports had to be sent to the Delhi Police special branch office on Asaf Ali Road, where the exemption was granted.

"He did not have to go to the police station," said Musharraf's spokesperson Raza Bokhari.

According to rules, all Pakistani nationals, except those holding Indian visas endorsed "exempted from police reporting", are required to register themselves at the nearest police station or Foreigners Registration Office or Foreigners Regional Registration Office within 24 hours of arriving at their destination city.

They have to report their arrival and departure in person, in writing. These rules are applicable to Indian nationals visiting Pakistan as well.

However, sources said that normally all diplomatic passport holders, which include former presidents and prime ministers and their spouses, are exempt from police reporting.

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