Couple weeks ago, a group of Pakistani Hindus who call themselves as Pakistani Jhattas wrote to Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India to extend their Indian visas and give them a visa to travel to more Indian countries. The leader of the group of 142 people said that they were confused whether to travel to India or not because they got the visa for only visiting Amritsar. These people were Hindus and not Sikh, so Amritsar isn’t a holy place for them. Many of them had to immerse ashes of their loved ones in the River Ganga in Haridwar. Also, all wished to perform Ganga pooja at Haridwar since they haven’t done it since a long time. The leader said that if not everyone, the government of India should at least grant permission to those people who had to perform the last rites to visit Haridwar. Some were granted an only five-day long visa, while some were given with 15-day visitor visas. However, the pull to their motherland was powerful, and they visited the country even if they weren’t allowed to go out of Amritsar. While their visas were nearing expiry, the Ministry of External Affairs arranged for extension and permission to visit more Indian countries including Mumbai, Haridwar, Delhi, and Ahmedabad. An official from the Ministry of External Affairs said that they don’t mind giving them an extension up to 15 days and permission to travel to more Indian cities. The Indian embassy in Pakistan chose to not comment on the issue, and neither said why they gave visas for only visiting Amritsar.
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