New Delhi: World Uyghur Congress (WUC) leader Dolkun Isa has expressed disappointment with India's move to cancel visa granted to him to visit the country.
Isa has blamed China for India's U-turn on the visa issue as Beijing had protested after New Delhi issued him papers to travel to the country and visit Dharamsala to attend a conference.
Isa was also likely to meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama during his Dharamsala visit.
“I think my visa denial was India's effort to maintain its bilateral relations with China,” Berlin-based Isa told ANI today.
“India had granted me a tourist e-visa, but it was cancelled after my visit was widely reported in the Indian press,” Isa said.
“I express my disappointment on Indian authorities’ cancellation of my visa to attend the Conference in Dharamsala,” the Uyghur leader added.
After India had issued visa to Isa, China had protested labelling the dissident leader a 'terrorist'.
A Chinese spokesperson had said that it was the “obligation of relevant countries” to bring Isa to justice as an Interpol notice was already issued against him.
When India had granted visa to Isa, it was seen as New Delhi's response to Beijing's move to block a ban on Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar at the United Nations.
China considers WUC leaders as supporters of terrorism in its volatile Muslim-dominated Xinjiang province.
Xinjiang, which has over 10 million Uyghur population of Turkik-origin Muslims, has been on the boil for several years over Uyghur protests against the large-scale settlements of Han Chinese from different parts of the country.