New Delhi, 03 October :
The Ministry of External Affairs has denied permission to RJD MP Manoj Jha to visit neighboring Pakistan. However, the Home Ministry allowed the Rajya Sabha MP to accept the invitation to lecture in Pakistan. This is considered a classic example of the fact that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.
RJD MP Manoj Jha received a joint invitation from the Asma Jehangir Foundation, AGHS Legal Aid Cell, Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan last month. He was to travel to Pakistan on 22 and 23 October to deliver a lecture during the ‘4th Asma Jehangir Conference – The Crisis of Constitutionalism in South Asia’ to be held in October.
Let us tell you that late Asma Jahangir is a famous person who fought for human rights in Pakistan and raised her voice against the governments.
Significantly, the Rajya Sabha MP was to speak on the ‘Role of Political Parties in Upholding Democratic Rights’ at the conference and had applied to the Ministry of Home Affairs and External Affairs on 22 September. Parliamentarians need political approval from the MHA and approval from the MEA under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 to accept foreign hospitality.
On 30 September, Manoj Jha received information from the Ministry of External Affairs. It was told that his proposal was scrutinized and “approval from political angle was denied.” However, on Monday, Manoj Jha was cleared from the home ministry saying that Jha had to be denied his application under Section 6 of the FCRA. It was directed to “sanction of the Competent Authority” for accepting foreign hospitality as per the
After the decision of the Ministry of External Affairs, Manoj Jha said, “It is unfortunate that the permission has been denied. Asma Jahangir is a person who fought for the rights of minorities in Pakistan throughout her life. I have no doubts about democratic rights.” was expected to speak on the role of the parties in maintaining
In their invitation, the organizers stated that the aim of the conference is to promote the principles of democracy, the rule of law and to discuss the ongoing situation in areas under conflict and its global and regional implications.
The invitation stated, “We wish to strengthen democratic institutions, freedom of expression and dissent, the role of the judiciary in protecting the Constitution, strengthen democracy and the fundamental rights of all citizens and diversity in the context of shrinking tolerance for religion and Will discuss freedom of faith.”
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Story first published: Monday, October 3, 2022, 23:01 [IST]