File photo of Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa
After a strong protest by China, India has cancelled its visa to dissident Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa.
Isa, a leader of World Uyghur Congress (WUC) who lives in Germany, was invited to a conference in Dharamshala.
He and many other Chinese dissidents in exile were expected to attend the conference in India and discuss democratic transformation in China.
India's decision to allow WUC leaders whom China regards as supporters of terrorism in its volatile Xinjiang province was reported to be in response to Beijing blocking India's bid to get Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar banned by the UN.
China's unhappiness about reports that Dolkun had been given the visa was reflected in Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying saying, "What I want to point out is that Dolkun is a terrorist in red notice of the Interpol and Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is due obligation of relevant countries."
When asked about the issue, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said,"We have seen the media reports and external affairs ministry is trying to ascertain the facts."
Expressing his regret on Indian Government’s decision to cancel his visa, Isa said it was cancelled after his visit was widely reported in Indian media.
“I think my visa denial was India's effort to keep its bilateral relations with China”, he was quoted as saying in a news report.
Xinjiang has been on the boil for several years. Uyghurs have been protesting the large-scale settlements in Xinjiang by Han Chinese.