News

Kashmiri athlete denied US visa

By Qadri Inzamam

New Delhi, Jan 31: Kashmiri snowshoe athlete, Tanveer Hussain Parra, on Tuesday claimed he was denied visa by the US Embassy here, with officials citing the “current policy” under the Dold Trump administration. Parra, 24, was scheduled to attend the World Snowshoe Federation (WSSF) World Championship on February 25 in Sarac Lake, New York.

President Trump last week signed an executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority tions and placed Pakistan under “extreme vetting”, an action which has led to widespread protests.

Parra told IANS that he was denied the visa despite having completed all formalities, and that his documents were in order and checked by a US embassy official.

“However, the official later told me she was ‘sorry’ and added that ‘under the current policy, we cannot issue you visa’,” Parra said. The US embassy told IANS that Indian citizens are “not affected” by the Trump administration order.

“For privacy reasons we cannot discuss specific visa cases. However, we note that Indian citizens are not affected by the recent executive order,” a US Embassy spokesperson said, declining to be med.

Parra said he had got invitation letters for the US event from WSSF and Mayor of Sarac Lake Village, New York, which he emailed to IANS. He was being accompanied by Abid Hussain Khan, Secretary General, Snowshoe Federation of India, for the US event.

Last year, Parra represented India during the World Snowshoe championship that was held in Vezza de Ogglio, Brescia, Italy, where he finished 31st in the senior category. IANS

(Qadri Inzamam can be reached at inzamam.a@ians.in)