Denial of Indian visas

TURBAT: Every year hundreds of Pakistanis travel to India to attend the Urs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia to pay their respects to the Sufi saint. But unfortunately, this year due to bad relations between India and Pakistan, the Indian government refused to issue visas to around 192 Pakistanis for attending the Urs. This is not the first time that the Indian government has taken such a tough decision. As earlier last year, delay from the Indian authorities in accepting Pakistan’s offer of sending a special train resulted in Sikh Yatrees (pilgrims) from India being unable to participate in the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev and the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

I request the authorities in both the countries not to deny visa to those intending to attend religious ceremonies. The two countries should avoid bringing in religious factors in their political relationship.

Bakhtiyar Phullan

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2018.

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