NEW DELHI: Former president General Pervez Musharraf and his wife Sehba, invited to Delhi by The Hindustan Times for an international conclave last week, travelled on an Indian visa that required them to report to the police on arrival.
The fiasco invited a diplomatic protest by Pakistan, the Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
It said Gen 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”.
The Pakistan High Commission immediately informed officials at the Indian foreign ministry and conveyed their displeasure, sources told The Indian Express.
The ministry intervened and exempted General 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 General 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 told the paper that normally all diplomatic passport holders, which include former presidents and prime ministers and their spouses, are exempt from police reporting.