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Kashmir athlete invited for snowshoe championship in New York denied visa by US Embassy due to 'policy changes'

Tanveer Hussain and his friend Abid Khan were both denied visa due to Donald Trump's new policy.

News 01 Feb 2017, 15:16 IST
Tanveer Hussain has represented India at many forums (Credits: Scroll)

What’s the story?

Earlier on Tuesday, a Kashmiri athlete was denied visa by the United States embassy citing reasons of the 'current policy'. This policy can, of course, be alluded to US President Donald Trump's recent ban on Muslim immigrants.

When Tanveer Hussain, the athlete in question, went to the US Embassy in New Delhi, seeking for a visa to visit the United States for a sports event, he was asked a few questions before being informed that he would not be granted the visa.  

Talking to Sportskeeda, the 24-year-old said, “As I entered the office, the visa interviewer didn't seem very pleased to see me. She spoke to me about my sport, asked a few questions and then left the room. After speaking to a few people, she returned to the room and stated that my visa cannot be granted due to 'policy changes'.”

Hussain also added that this was the first time that he had been denied a visa. He said, “I was invited by the US Federation themselves, but I feel the only criteria for me not being allowed was the fact that I am a Muslim. I’m not from Syria or any of these countries. Why wasn't I allowed? My sport has taken me to 7 different countries, but never did I face this.”

In case you didn’t know…

Newly elected President, Trump had initially announced a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on” back in December 2015. Obviously, this was met with widespread criticism. Consequently, that blanket ban on an entire religion’s adherents was pared down to “extreme vetting” of Muslim individuals after several successive campaign statements.

Heart of the matter

Hussain planned to visit the country to participate in snowshoe championship in New York, to be held on 25 February 2017. The World SnowShoe Federation had invited him to the event, which is to be held in Saranac Lake. The Hassanabad Rainawari resident plays the sport for the Jammu and Kashmir bank.

He has even represented India at many forums and sports events. He took part in the snowshoe championship at the 2016 winter games in Italy last year. His friend Abid Khan was also invited to the event. However, the two were denied visa due to Trump’s brand new policy.

The Mayor of Saranac Lake, Clyde Rabideau, expressed his disappointment at the denial of visa to the two Kashmiris in an extensive Facebook post. Rabideau assured that he will help them reach the event and also shared the conversation he had with Khan.

What’s next?

Although the Mayor has promised that he will do everything in his power to help them take part in the event, the chances of the two acquiring a visa in time looks bleak.

Sportskeeda’s take

The newly adopted policy against the Muslims has already come under a lot of debate and criticism not only by Muslim nations but from others as well. That a sportsperson has been denied access to the country is taking the matter to new heights and Trump’s policy will soon come under the scanner.

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