Pakistan-born residents struggling to get visa

JALANDHAR, May 6: For a number of Pakistan-born people, who have acquired Indian citizenship and are settled in different parts of Punjab, meeting their relatives in that country remains a dream with the Pakistan authorities allegedly rejecting their visa application citing “discrepancies”.

“I have got three brothers in Pakistan. I want to meet them. But the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi asked for different documents on every occasion I visited it,” said 72-year-old Mulk Raj, a resident of Jalandhar for last 17 years.

He indicated that the Pakistani officials had objected to mentioning of ‘Undivided India’ as the birth place for those who were born before independence.

“The birth place mentioned in my birth certificate is Sialkot (Undivided India). The officials said that if Sialkot is in India, why do I need a visa to visit it,” Raj said.

“However, the officials later asked for the identity proof and the electricity bill of the person whom I wanted to visit there but when I brought all the documents, the High Commission denied me visa for some unknown reason,” he said.

The mission officials cite different conditions everytime someone applies for visa, alleged another applicant.

Regional passport officer Parneet Singh said such cases of denial of visa have been brought to his notice.

Regarding the issue of “Undivided India” written on the passports, he said, “It is the decision of the government. I can do nothing about it. We act according to the orders issued by the foreign ministry.”

However, the official said after he received complaints of visa applicants, he had referred the issue to the ministry. (PTI)


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