Long-term visa for Pak Hindus

About 200 Pakistani Hindus who migrated to India seeking citizenship have some reason to rejoice this Diwali. 

The state government has begun the process for issuing long term visa to the 212 migrants who are now living in camps in Jodhpur.

At present, 397 Hindu pilgrim tourists from Pakistan are living at camps at Jhanwar. According to official sources the state government can issue long term visa for only six months. After that, the Central government steps in and could extend it up to two years.

Earlier, long term visas were issued to only Pakistanis who came on tourist visas. All these Pakistanis seeking Indian citizenship have come on pilgrim visas.

This is the first time that the pilgrim visa holders have been given long term visas. This is being considered a compassionate gesture from the state and central government.

Seemant Lok Sangathan president Hindu Singh Soda who has been at the forefront for championing the cause of the Pakistani Hindus wishing to settle in India said, “our demand is for according refugee status to these displaced people as they were subjected to religious persecution in Pakistan. Issuing long term visa is only a temporary relief”.  The state government has also taken a decision to enrol the children of these pilgrims from Pakistan in the state-run schools which is also considered a genuine desire of the government to help out the people who have sought abode in the country.

The migrants’ hope is also emboldened as both the political parties are compassionate to their cause. After the leaders of the Hindu migrants met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot he had immediately asked the officials to take up the matter with the Centre.

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