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India
30 Oct 2017

431 Pakistani Hindus get long-term visas in India

The other side of Indo-Pak relations

As many as 431 Pakistani nationals, mostly Hindus, have been granted long-term visas by the Indian government, thus making them eligible for Aadhaar cards, PAN cards, and buying property.

Amid strained Indo-Pak relations, the move falls within Modi's larger scheme to help minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who come to India after facing alleged persecution in their home countries.

In context

The other side of Indo-Pak relations

Policy

The latest Central policy on neighboring minorities

Under the latest Central policy, minority communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan - namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Parsis - living in India with long-term visas can purchase small dwelling units suitable for family-use, self-use and/or facilitating self-employment.

They're also eligible for Aadhaar cards, PAN cards, bank accounts, driving licenses etc., are allowed free movement within their state of stay, and inter-state transfers.

Clearances

Home ministry grants clearances to Pakistani nationals for annual event

The Home Ministry also gave security clearance to 1,800 Pakistani nationals from the Ahmadiyya community for attending the community's 123rd 'Jalsa Salana' in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab from 29th-31st December.

While 5,000 Pakistani Ahmadiyyas attended the event in 2015, no Pakistani national was allowed to attend last year as Indo-Pak relations soured over the Pathakot attack and the Pakistani glorification of Burhan Wani.

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Highest visa approval rate in almost two years

Of the 6,025 visa applications received in September from nationals of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, and a few other countries, 4,057 were approved by the home ministry - the highest in a single month in nearly two years.

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