British MP Lord Alexander Carlile wanted to create problems and misunderstanding between India and Bangladesh governments and also between the opposition parties in the two countries, alleged the External Affairs Ministry on Thursday. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar pointed out that India engaged in a friendly manner with both the Bangladesh government and its opposition parties.
Carlile was denied entry in New Delhi on Wednesday night, and he returned to the UK on a British Airways flight two hours later. Kumar alleged that Carlile already had a British Airways boarding pass with him. Though he didn't actually say it, the accusation was clear that Carlile knew in advance his visa had been rejected, so he made contingency plans for return.
Carlile, on his return to London, held a press conference not just expressing his outrage over the treatment given to him in India but also alleging political interference in Begum Khaleda Zia's case in Bangladesh. The 70-year-old peer is Zia's legal counsel. He was previously refused entry to Bangladesh, too. At the press conference, which was relayed over Skype to viewers in India, he said that since he did not get permission to enter Dhaka, he wanted to hold the press conference in India and bring to light the matter regarding Zia before the international community.
The MEA spokesperson said Carlile had been granted an e-visa under the business section. However, it later came to light what the intention of his visit was, so his visa was revoked. “We had informed him that his visa was not valid. And he came with a boarding pass for a flight leaving two hours later,'' said Kumar.
He said that Carlile could very well have had the press conference in London, and not used Indian soil for it. He also said that it was the sovereign right of every country to grant or deny a visa. “You know what happens when you enter a country on a student visa and get some work there,'' the spokesperson said, making a veiled dig at the UK's stringent visa rules.