Officials say organisers should have got Faiz Ahmed Faiz's daughter's visa cleared by MHA
As a controversy erupted over Moneeza Hashmi, daughter of noted Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz and an eminent media personality in Pakistan, being turned back from the 15th Asia Media Summit-2018 that conc
NEW DELHI: As a controversy erupted over Moneeza Hashmi, daughter of noted Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz and an eminent media personality in Pakistan, being turned back from the 15th Asia Media Summit-2018 that concluded in Delhi on Saturday, officials said the organizers should have got Moneeza’s visa cleared by Ministry of Home Affairs.
Moneeza, who was invited as a speaker to the three-day summit inaugurated by Union Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, reached Delhi on May 9, but was not allowed by the organizers to check into the hotel and register for the conference. The organisers apologised to Moneeza before rebooking her at another hotel and arranging for her return flight the next day.
Officials of the Information and ministry said it was a procedural issue and the organisers should have arranged for her visit according to the norms of conference visa. Officials said they were trying to get a reply from organizers Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) — an inter-governmental body based in Kuala Lampur, and added many last-minute changes were made to the speaker’s list.
Sources said Hashmi had been granted a six-month, multiple-entry visa to India in February to attend a conference on Faiz, and did not have permission to attend another conference.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former I&B minister Manish Tiwari tweeted, “Sad to read Moneeza Hashmi 72-year-old daughter of legendary poet laureate of Pakistan Faiz Ahmed Faiz who fought & was jailed by almost every Military ruler was virtually deported from India. It underscores bigoted mindset’s in GOI & I bet I&B mandarins do not know who Faiz was?.”
Meanwhile, Moneeza described the incident as a juvenile act that not only embarrassed her but also slighted her country, Pakistan. She said she was told about some procedural reasons which had never been an issue during any of her previous visits when she attended conferences across India — in Allahabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chhattisgarh and Bhopal.
Over 200 foreign delegates participated in the summit, spread over two days, and there were 54 speakers who spoke on various issues. But there was no speaker from Pakistan.