Tuesday, 11 August 2009


SNP MSP for Glasgow Anne McLaughlin has called on the UK Government and UK Borders Agency to reverse their decision not to grant visa's to a Pakistani pipe band and trade visit heading for Glasgow.

The Lahore Pipe Band are due to take part in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow.
Their visas have been rejected by the UK Government, along with those of a delegation from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and the Lahore District Council. Glasgow is twinned with Lahore.

The Pipe Band faced similar visa problems last year but were eventually given visas - and joined the late SNP MSP for Glasgow Bashir Ahmad in the Scottish Parliament (Picture attached).

Ms McLaughlin said:
"This is a ridiculous decision. The UK Borders Agency must change their mind and grant these visas.
"For this to happen once was bad enough, to repeat it this year is a disgrace. I will be in touch with the Borders Agency to get this decision reversed.

"The Pipe Band are international ambassadors and Glasgow's Pipe Band Championships is an international celebration.
"This kind of decision gives Scotland a bad name and shows up the shambles within the UK Border Agency
"Glasgow wants to welcome the Lahore Pipe Band to the competition, the UK Border Agency should grant their visas so we can do so."

SNP MP for Glasgow East John Mason added;
"The UK Border Agency gets worse by the day. Lahore is Glasgow's twin city, it is ridiculous we cannot welcome trade and political delegations that could bring business connections to the city.

"I will be raising this decision with the UK Government."

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