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News ::
Indian government is planning to restrict the movement of Pakistanis (english)
01 Jan 2003
The Indian government is planning to restrict the movement of Pakistani
nationals visiting the country to three places from 12 at present






New Page 2




Indian Govt to restrict
movement of Pakistani nationals to 3 Places from 12 at present

The Indian government is planning to restrict the movement of Pakistani
nationals visiting the country to three places from 12 at present.

Expressing concern over increasing cases of Pakistani nationals overstaying or
going underground in India, Minister of State for Home Vidyasagar Rao said the
state governments have been empowered by the Centre to identify, nab and deport
those Pakistani nationals who were staying in the country beyond the time
permitted in their visas or had gone missing.

He said the steps were being taken in a bid to prevent Pakistani nationals from
taking part in anti-India activities. "The government is also considering
proposals to take undertakings from local sponsors who invite them," he
added.

Rao, however, said the government is also contemplating granting citizenship on
humanitarian grounds to aged Pakistanis who had their relatives here or those
women who got married to Indian nationals.

Similarly, there are cases of aged persons who had crossed over from Pakistan
during 1965 and 1971 wars and remained here since then, especially in Rajasthan
and Gujarat, for whom grant of citizenship was being considered, he said. There
are 4978 such persons, mostly Hindus, in Rajasthan, he added.

Rao said of the 11,208 cases of Pakistani nationals who entered India legally,
as many as 2,324 persons among them had gone missing without trace. "You
need only one Osama bin Laden to cause a disaster," he said.
Registration of foreigners at all entry and exit points would also be
computerized, he added.

Disclosing that several meetings were held in the home ministry to review the
situation, he said these steps were being considered as it was found on random
verification that 90 per cent of addresses given by Pakistani nationals for visa
purposes in India were found to be false.

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 issuance of visas only for meeting relatives or
for diplomatic purposes.

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

The proposal now was to restrict the places that could be visited by a Pakistani
to three as before, he said, adding that stoppage of granting extension on
tourist visas was also being considered.

He said "all unilateral concessions" granted by India were being
reviewed and steps being taken to restrict many of them.

He said the practice of "100 per cent pre-verification" of those
Pakistanis seeking Indian visas would be continued and added that official
circulars had been issued to state governments concerned to verify the
antecedents of their local sponsors also.

Asked whether any amendment in the Foreigners Act, 1946, or the Indian Passports
Act, 1920, was required, Rao said only government orders would suffice in this
regard.




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