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How friendly are we really?

April 28th, 2006

According to Business Standard

  • A Pakistani citizen has to get a separate visa for each city that he is scheduled to visit in India. If he arrives in Delhi, he will need a separate visa for Delhi. If he wants to visit the Taj, he will need another visa for Agra, and of course a third visa for going to Bangalore. Without such city-specific visas he cannot go to any city in India. This is a big departure from all international visa procedures. If I as an Indian go to the US, I do not need separate visas for New York, Boston, San Francisco, etc. Similarly, visitors to India from any country other than Pakistan do not need separate visas for each Indian city.
  • The visitor from Pakistan has to report to the police station nearest to his hotel—within 24 hours of his arrival in each city. This can literally make the man run from one police station to another, as happened to our visitors in Bangalore. The hotel in which they stayed did not know which police station had jurisdiction over that hotel, as most hotels have very little to do with police stations. So our Pakistani visitors had to visit five police stations before they could establish which particular station had jurisdiction over their hotel! This itself took a couple of days, despite the best efforts of the host company. You can imagine the frustration of having to go from pillar to post, especially when the pillar and the post are uninviting police stations that are also citadels of suspicion and rudeness.
  • Each of these visitors had to get a residential permit from each police station on his arrival and again report to the station to obtain a departure certificate 24 hours before departure. And this procedure had to be repeated at each city. Every time copies of documents like passport, hotel declaration and residential permit had to be submitted to each police station.
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