NEW DELHI: The Home Ministry today strongly refuted the "vilification campaign" that a delegation of Pakistani doctors were denied visa by India, saying it never received any such application from any medical practitioner belonging to the neighbouring country.
A senior Home Ministry official said Pakistan comes under the "Prior Reference Category" (PRC) and anyone wishing to visit any conference in India has to apply well in advance for consideration of his or her visa application. "Reaction time for PRC visa application is minimum 10 days. So, one has to apply well in advance for consideration of his or her visa application.
"The fact of the matter is we have never received any visa application from any doctor from Pakistan to attend any conference in India. It is utter lie to blame us that we have denied them visa. It is nothing but a vilification campaign against India," the official told PTI.
The delegation of Pakistani doctors was scheduled to attend a four-day global meet on cancer care beginning here today, but could not do so as its members were unable to get visas, organisers claimed. Pakistani sources termed it as "unfortunate".
The conference, organised by International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) and Foundation for Head-Neck Oncology (FHNO), is being attended by doctors from around 15 foreign countries. When asked at a press conference if there were delegates from Pakistan, the organisers said, "They were scheduled to participate but could not make it as they could not get the visas." Organising Chairman of the conference Dr Alok Thakar said, "Some of the doctors were to present papers at the conference."
The news comes amidst escalating tension between India and Pakistan in the wake of Uri attack and subsequent surgical strike by Indian Army on terror launch pads in PoK.