ISLAMABAD – Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal flouted visa restrictions to meet prime minister Nawaz Sharif in his secret Pakistan tour, it emerged on Friday.
According to multiple media reports, Jindal who took off from Kabul and landed in Islamabad on Wednesday headed to Murree to call on premier Nawaz Sharif.
However, his tour to Murre was a severe violation of visa restrictions. A photo that went viral on the internet shows a visa issued to Jindal on April 25 for a period of 10 days. However, it also shows that he was only authorized to visit Lahore and Islamabad, making the visit to Murree a violation of the terms and conditions of his visa.
It was also suggested by a leading television channel that Jindal was also exempted from police reporting in Pakistan.
Sajjan along with his two friends Sokiat Sangal and Virendar Babar Singh made an impromptu Pakistan tour successfully avoiding media spotlight.
However, veteran journalist Sharif blew the lid off the ‘secret’ tour after which Maryam Nawaz, daughter of prime minister Nawaz Sharif took to Twitter and clarified that Jindal was an old friend of Nawaz Sharif and there was nothing ‘secret’ about the meeting.
Mr. Jindal is an old friend of the Prime Minister. Nothing 'secret' about the meeting & should not be blown out of proportion. Thank you.
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) April 27, 2017
Jindal’s interaction with premier Nawaz Sharif is being considered something of an extraordinary importance citing the recent developments including death sentence to RAW spy Kalbushan Jadhav and the confessional video of TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan in which he categorically admitted links of the militant group with Indian spy agency RAW.
It is relevant to mention that Jindal is dubbed as a close affiliate of Indian premier Narendra Modi and his visit amid fraught relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours has raised questions in the minds of political analysts.
Although a businessman, Jindal is hailed as an influential personality in power corridors as well. He was part of the delegation that visited Pakistan during the surprise visit of Narendra Modi back in December 2015. At that time, he also tweeted ‘In Lahore to greet PM Nawaz Sharif on his birthday’.
The foreign office has yet to respond to the reports that the Murree visit of Indian bigwig was a flagrant violation of visa restrictions.