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Pak ex-PM 'detained' in Ajmer
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AJMER, Oct 28 (Agencies): Eid celebrations turned sour for former Pakistan prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, as he was detained at Ajmer by India's intelligence bureau (IB) for travelling without essential documents like visa, on Saturday.

Hussain, who is also the Pakistan Muslim League's president, was detained for three hours at a hotel where he, along with the party's secretary-general S Syed Mushahid Hussain, had lodged. It was only when the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi emailed Hussain's papers around midday that the Indian authorities allowed him to move out of his room.

Meanwhile, both the countries' officials present at the hotel in Ajmer got engaged in heated talks. The Pakistani delegation protested that the Indian authorities were being too hard on a former prime minister. The Indian officials, however, justified their action.

"The IB department has certain requirements which are essential to be fulfilled and, therefore, the officials requested the Pak delegation for the travelling papers, which were later sent by the Pakistan embassy," said Sunita Danga, district protocol officer.

Chaudhry had come to Ajmer to offer a special prayer at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti on the occasion of Eid. He reached the city early on Saturday morning, attended the especial prayers and offered chadder and flowers at the dargah.

When Chaudhry and the accompanying Pak delegation returned to a five-star hotel around 9.45 am, the IB department approached him and requested for the visa and the permission to visit Ajmer. The former Pak prime minister was moving out of his room for breakfast then, but the IB officials asked him to wait until the papers were shown. The matter took an ugly turn when the Pakistan Embassy counselor Abrar Hussain objected saying the IB should not behave like this with the former prime minster of Pakistan.

The IB team led by inspector DD Sharma, however, insisted that the formalities were essential and without submitting the papers the delegation cannot move out of the hotel. "Soon allegations and counter-allegations were levelled and Abrar Hussain accused the Indian system," an official source said. Embassy counselor Abrar denied commenting anything officially but he expressed anger at the IB officials and said, "This is not the manner in which one behaves with a former prime minster." "We had the permission, the visa as well as the passport, but we left them in New Delhi as the visit was totally religious," another Pakistani official said.

The permission and visa along with the copy of a passport of the delegation was sent by e-mail and submitted to the IB officials around 12.05 pm and thereafter the Pak delegation was allowed to move out of the hotel.

Former Pakistan prime minster and Muslim League president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said that the Kashmir issue should be resolved through bilateral relations. He said, "Both the countries should avoid the groups that are creating hurdles in resolving this issue."

Chaudhry visited Ajmer on Saturday to offer prayers at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Talking to reporters on the occasion, he said Kashmir was not a 'grave' issue and could be settled once both the countries came to the table to resolve it. He agreed that there were some groups that did not want Pakistan's relations with India to improve and so both the governments should start avoiding them.

Chaudhry said Pakistan was worst hit by terrorism, especially after the Afghanistan war. "At present Pakistan is facing the consequences of terrorism, and to come out it, both India and Pakistan should come closer and fight against it," the former PM said. He said relations with India were the requirement of the time and efforts should be made to improve them.


News Updated at : Sunday, October 28, 2012
 
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