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News ::
Indian Government to curb Pakistani Visitors ! (english)
30 Dec 2002
Indian Government to curb Pakistani Visitors

New Page 3

Governemnt to curb Pakistani  visitors

Reflecting the current chill in its relations with Pakistan, India plans to
restrict Pakistani visitors to three cities and undertake a drive to round up
those who have overstayed in the country.

The Government was also considering a proposal to get undertakings from local
sponsors of Pakistani visitors in order to hold them responsible for the
whereabouts of their guests till they left the country, Minister of State for
Home Vidyasagar Rao told reporters here.

Expressing concern over the increasing cases of Pakistani nationals overstaying
or going underground in India, he said all State governments had been empowered
by the Centre to identify, nab and deport those who had stayed in the country
beyond the time permitted in their visas or had gone missing.

"The State governments have also been asked to launch special drives to nab
those Pakistani nationals staying here illegally. State police forces and the
foreigners' registration offices have been empowered to nab and deport
them," he said.

However, he said, the Government was also contemplating granting citizenship on
humanitarian grounds on a case by case basis to aged persons who had their kin
here or those women who were married to Indian nationals. Mr Rao said there were
a total of 11,208 cases of Pakistanis who had entered India legally but were
overstaying; as many as 2,324 among them had gone missing without a trace.
"You need only one Osama bin Laden to cause a disaster," he said,
adding that it was found that 90 per cent of the Pakistanis seeking Indian visas
were furnishing false addresses.

While the practice of "100 per cent pre-verification" of Pakistanis
seeking visas would continue, the Ministry was also going to install computer
software at points of entry and exit in different parts of the country so that
information about foreigners was available to the concerned authorities all over
the country, he said.

Following the Simla Agreement, India and Pakistan had signed an accord on
issuance of passports, which entitled nationals of both countries to visit a
maximum of three places.

The accord also restricted the issue of visas only for meeting relatives or for
diplomatic purposes.

However, New Delhi had unilaterally increased the number of places which could
be visited by the Pakistanis to 12 and had also started issuing tourist visas,
Mr Rao said.

The proposal now was to restrict the maximum number of places to three as
before, he said, adding that stoppage of granting extension on tourist visas was
also being considered

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