After being denied entry into India on Monday, In an exclusive interview with Republic TV, Labour party UK MP Debbie Abrahams admitted that she was not aware of her visa being cancelled. She also said that if she had known earlier she would have made alternative arrangements. Earlier, Abrahams also issued a formal statement claiming having suffered an ordeal just as she was being deported to Dubai.
Speaking to Republic TV, Abrahams said, "No, I wasn't aware that my visa was cancelled. I would have made alternative arrangements because I obviously have the option of flying on a visa on arrival. I was not aware, I am still not aware. I have access to my parliamentary emails and I have no contact in that."
When asked if the Government of India has informed here about here visa, she said, "I had no idea. I had absolutely no idea. I was treated badly by the officials; the officer shouted at me. I have never seen a deportation cell - they took me to a deportee cell."
When asked about her visit to Pakistan occupied Kashmir, she said, "Yes, I am going to visit Pakistan. I would like to visit Pakistan occupied Kashmir and look at the human rights issue. I wanted to meet my family in Karachi."
Mentioning that she presented herself at the immigration desk with requisite documents including the e-visa, Abrahams claimed that an immigration official rudely directed her to sit in an area marked as a Deportee cell. Thereafter, she got in touch with her Indian host who contacted the British High Commission.
According to the Labour MP, the officials were not willing to disclose the reason for her visa being revoked. Moreover, her request to get a ‘visa on arrival’ was also rebuffed. Later, she opined that the officials had treated her as a ‘criminal’. Abrahams' statement notwithstanding, Ministry of Home Affairs sources revealed that she had been communicated in advance about her visa being cancelled.
Representing the constituency of Oldham East and Saddleworth since January 2011, Abrahams is the Chair of the British Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group. As per the website, its purpose is to support the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination and to highlight the abuses of human rights in Kashmir. After the abrogation of Article 370, she wrote to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab asking whether UK would raise the matter at the UN Security Council meeting in September 2019.
On February 4, 2020, she participated in the Kashmir Solidarity Day seminar in London. The event also witnessed the participation of Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, the Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK and Sardar Masood Khan, the ‘President’ of PoK. The seminar was organised by the Women Council of Jammu Kashmir Self-Determination Movement International.