Govt recommends visas for 285

The Rajasthan government has on Thursday recommended Long Term Visas for 285 Pakistani Hindus, who did not return to their homeland fearing persecution on religious grounds.
All of them came by Thar Express with valid pilgrimage visa from Pakistan in last three months and have been staying in a make-shift camp in Jodhpur.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot had also visited the camp three days back and gave them a hearing.
According to sources, the Pakistani Hindus came to India on a pilgrimage visa for 30 days. But as soon as they landed in India, they refused to return back to Pakistan.
“There is no question of returning to Pakistan, our lives were not safe there,” says Chetan, a Hindu from Hyderabad in Pakistan’s Sindh province. He came to India along with 171 people on 9 September, 2012 and took shelter at a make-shift camp run by Seemant Lok Sangthan [SLS] in Jodhpur.
According to the SLS,most of them are Dalits or tribal Bheels from Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab province.
“Since these Pakistani nationals, who belong to Pakistan’s minority community of Hindus, made a request to the administration in Jodhpur to give permission them to remain in India on LTV,we find nothing wrong in recommending for the same,” a senior officer with home department in Jaipur said to this newspaper.
‘They are in two parts- one group of 219 came in recent while 66 Pakistani Hindus did come on different time. But all of them came on pilgrimage visa,” he added.

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