Indian Army Officials denied Canadian Visa for Kashmir crimes

Canadian Immigration authorities have denied visas to former Indian army officials who have served in Indian-occupied Kashmir, on grounds of their involvement in gross human rights violations.

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News Desk |

Canada has initiated a policy of denying visas to ex-Indian army officials over the continued human rights violations undertaken by the Indian troops in Indian-occupied Kashmir, as per the media reports emanating from India.

The Indian army officials who have been denied visa issuance include 2 former lieutenant generals, 2 former officials and 3 former brigadiers of an Indian intelligence agency. Reports reveal that the Canadian Immigration Department noted that these visa requests are being denied due to the ongoing situation and violations undertaken by the Indian Army in the disputed Himalayan region.

Indian Army Personnel denied Visas for Kashmir Violence

An Indian news channel reported that the Canadian government has denied visas to two retired Lieutenant generals, three former brigadiers and two senior officials from the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB), on grounds that their institutions stand accused of participating in violence.

New Delhi has issued a strong warning to the Canadian Immigration authorities for referring to the personnel of the Intelligence Bureau as a terrorist organization. India has threatened to retaliate if Canada fails to launch an apology to the targeted individuals and institutions.

Indian media reported that Lieutenant-General Ameet Singh, a serving member of the armed forces tabular, has also been denied the issuance of a visit visa to Canada under the same restrictions. Amreet Singh has served as the former director general or military operations, and was also the former quartermaster General.

Lieutenant General Ameet Singh has penned down a letter to the Indian Defence Ministry to condemn the recent policy of the Canadian immigration authorities and the restrictions imposed on him.

“It is highly lamentable that a foreign mission is allowed to cast aspersions on an officer with an unblemished service record, and therefore, the Army as a whole,” Indian media cited his comments in the report,

The letter read, “Civil society and the international community are well informed about operations in Jammu and Kashmir. It is urgent submission that the government take a strong exception to this situation and take up the matter at the appropriate levels.”

It further added, “In addition, as soldiers, we serve where we are ordered to. It should be no one’s argument that service deployments have any bearing on post-retirement entitlements, as a citizen of the country and ex-army officer, I believe I have every right to see the requisite permissions to visit any country of my choosing.”

Sources reveal that the Canadian High Commissioner noted that the rejection of the visa is in light of Lieutenant General Ameet Singh’s services as a sector commander in Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir and the overall Indian atrocities committed by the troops in the disputed region.

The Indian media reports also claimed that Canadian authorities have been deliberately targeted and “insulting” the Indian security establishment and its personnel.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, member of the House of Lords and President APPG on Kashmir, commended the Canadian authorities and Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, for taking a “brave stance” against the atrocities committed by Indian Army personnel in occupied Kashmir.

Earlier in 2010, Canada had set a powerful precedent by denying visa issued to a retired official of the Border Security Force (BSF), on grounds of accusations of being involved in gross human rights violations committed in Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir. This incident was followed by two more incidents of refusal to issue visas to Indian Army personnel on the same grounds.

This repeated denial in issuing visas to Indian army personnel has angered the authorities in New Delhi, and India warned of retaliating by denying visa issuance to Canadian officials who seek to travel to Afghanistan via India.

Read more: Kashmiris are living a long nightmare of Indian colonialism

Retired Lieutenant General A S Bahia, who had served as an official of the Defence Appellate Tribunal, had claimed that the Canadian Home Office denied his visa application on grounds that he has served in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Lieutenant General Bahia claimed that he was denied visa because Canada disapproved of his unit, the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), which has been involved in gross human rights abuses in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the unprecedented security lockdown and communications blackout in the disputed Himalayan valley enters its 18th day, as innocent Kashmiris struggle to communicate with their loved ones, obtain life-sustaining medications and food supplies.

Earlier this week, Genocide Watch, a global advocacy group, had issued a genocide alert to urge the international human rights organizations and the United Nations to demand India to end the barbaric treatment of Kashmiri civilians.