Trump Shocker: 2 Kashmiri Athletes Denied US Visa

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SRINAGAR: Two Kashmiri athletes have been reportedly denied visa by the United States of America. The sportspersons were scheduled to participate in snow-shoe championship in New York on February 25, 2017.

Tanveer Hussain, 24, and Abid Khan snow-shoe champions from Kashmir were invited by World Snow-Shoe Federation for the championship to be held next month in the Saranac Lake. Both had flown to New Delhi on Saturday to get US Visa.

“I was interviewed by US Embassy officials for over six minutes before they turned down my application,” Tanveer told the Kashmir Observer from New Delhi on phone. “All my documents were complete but the interviewer told me: sorry, we cannot give you visa because of our current policy.”

However, Tanveer added, “the officials did not elaborate the ‘current policy’.”

 

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“You know, we cannot argue with such officials,” he said. “I was let down by the Embassy officials and I had no other option but to leave the Embassy premises.”

“Indian Snowshoers Denied Visas, due to ‘current (US) policy’. This from our good friend Abid Khan, from Kashmir, minutes ago in our Facebook Messaging,” Clyde Rabideau, Mayor of the Village of Saranac Lake in New York, wrote on his Facebook page.

The development comes in the wake of recently inaugurated president, Donald J Trump’s ban on entry of nationals from seven Muslim countries.

Tanveer Hussain is a resident of Hassanabad Rainawari in summer capital of J&K.

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An ace athlete, Tanveer represented India in Italy in 2016 winter games where he participated in world snow- shoe championship. Besides, he plays for J&K Bank.

“I was preparing for this world championship for last one month,” Tanveer said, “I would go to Gulmarg every two-days a week besides I practiced in snow-bound Srinagar areas.”

According to the conversation posted by Rabideau on his page, Khan informed him about the denial of the visa. “Sorry sir, Visa denied,” Khan wrote to the Mayor, a Democrat.

Khan claimed all the paperwork for both the athletes was in order including “local Government sponsorship, federation, your support letter, my financial background. They did not missed (sic) any supporting document.”

“The lady officer at US embassy in New Delhi after checking all docs (sic), just went inside into another room. After returning she said ‘Sorry, due to our current policy we cant issue you visa’,” Khan said.

Rabideau, while promising help with the visa, said “this will not stand”.

World snow-shoe racing championships, sponsored by the World Snow-shoe Federation, have previously been held in Austria (2006 and 2007), Western Canada (2010), Japan (2011), Eastern Canada (2011 and 2015), Italy (2013 and 2015) and Sweden (2014).


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