South African leg-spinner of Pakistan origin, Imran Tahir, on his Twitter handle claimed that he was “humiliated and expelled” by the Pakistan Consulate in Birmingham when he paid a visit on Monday to obtain a Visa so that he could play for World XI in Pakistan.
Tahir is one of the 14 members of the World XI squad that will play three T20Is at Gaddafi Stadium of Lahore against Pakistan cricket team. The matches will be played under the Independence Cup to be hosted by Pakistan on September 12, 13 and 15. The 14 member squad comprises players from seven Test-playing countries. This series is immensely important for Pakistan from the point of view of international cricket since the country has not played high-profile international cricket at home ever since the Sri Lankan team’s bus was attacked on March 3, 2009. For the Independence Cup, Pakistan has promised top-notch security to the World XI players.
The cricketer had to face rough treatment at the Pakistan Consulate and expressed his disappointment in a Twitter post. In his post, he revealed that he had visited the Consulate with his family but had to undergo the trauma of waiting for as long as 5 hours. On the top of that, after 5 hours, he was expelled from the Consulate saying that the office hours were over. Eventually, when the High Commissioner Ibne Abbas intervened and instructed the staff, Tahir could get the visas.
Have a look at his tweet below:
Me with my family were humiliated & expelled from Pak High Commission earlier today when I went to get visa to play for WorldXI in Pakistan pic.twitter.com/VByiqV4oFh
— Imran Tahir (@ImranTahirSA) September 4, 2017
Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s Minister for Interior responded to Tahir’s post within a few hours feeling sorry for what the cricketer had gone through. He said that the department will have the matter investigated and take action against those responsible.
Imran sorry to read your post. We will have this investigated and action will be taken against those responsible.
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) September 5, 2017
The Pakistan High Commission in London later clarified that the consulate staff assisted Tahir and the delay was because Tahir and his family had South African passports which required “additional processes”. As reported by Dawn, the statement from the Consulate further said,
The time taken in issuing visas was due to non-filling out of four applications, non-availability of supporting documents and additional processing required in respect of visas for holders of a third country. The visa applications are handled by Gerry’s but, as a special case, his applications were directly accepted by the consulate. It may be noted that the normal visa processing time is five working days. When the high commissioner came to know about the matter, he immediately intervened and gave necessary approval after which the visas were issued the same day.